73-year-old Jivraj Pattani is the oldest 'employee' at an oxygen bottling plant near Calico Textile Mill (CTM) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
For nearly half a century, Pattani has worked in this field and witnessed technology change over the years. After retiring at 60, Pattani didn't plan to return again to the oxygen bottling plant.
However, with his son losing his job during the first wave of the pandemic, he had no option but to return to the plant to make a living.
"But this is the most difficult time we are living in – everyone thought that a year's suffering is enough, but the pandemic has tightened its deadly grip, showing no signs of relenting anytime soon," Pattani told The Times of India.
After 13 years of retirement, he never imagined returning to work. But the pandemic has massively hit economic activities in the country and has also become the reason for Pattani's return to his previous work.
"My son is MA, but he lost his job in the first wave during the lockdown. As we have seven persons to feed, I again approached my acquaintances in the field and landed the job," Pattani said.
Stressing on the crisis that has gripped the nation, he said that the work has increased tremendously. There are long queues outside the filling stations.
Pattani shared that they doing their best to cater to the hospitals and individuals so that no one dies due to lack of oxygen.
"I started work in the early 1970s – the work was different then, and so was technology. This time around, it's faster with a fully mechanized process. Sometimes it gets tiring, but I know that each cylinder I am sending out is saving someone's life. It's our job to do our bit in these testing times," he added.