As days pass by, our quaint town Dehradun is being gripped by the deadly coronavirus, affecting way too many in the second wave. The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has unleashed an unprecedented health disaster. With the health system collapsed, people suffering from COVID-19 are finding it difficult to get access to medical supplies such as oxygen, hospital beds, plasma, or for that matter, even food.
In such times of crisis, numerous NGOs, individuals, groups have emerged as superheroes working selflessly to arrange oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, plasma donors, and food, keeping the spirit of humanity alive.
At present, many hotels and restaurants are providing meals to COVID impacted families free of cost. Similarly, various NGOs are tirelessly working day and night to arrange oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, plasma donors, and other medical needs.
Furthermore, so many youths are making the best use of the social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, by creating groups, adding up volunteers, and generating leads regarding the availability of medical supplies.
In this story, we’ll be giving a mention to such good samaritans and ways to connect to them.
Making a Difference by Being the Difference (MAD)
As the second wave of COVID-19 has adversely hit the state, MAD by BTD, one of the most prominent Doon-based NGOs, has been working tirelessly to provide patients with medical supplies, oxygen, ICUs, oxygen beds, ventilators, and plasma.
Karan Kapoor, President, MAD, says, “With so much information surfacing on the internet, the main task and problem in hand for the families of patients was to find verified information amidst all the chaos, need, and rumors. Members of MAD have joined hands together and have created helplines to provide assistance and resources to those in need. We have a team of 60+ members receiving calls day and night and helping patients with their needs, along with another team of 20+ members who verify every single lead/request received over calls or through the internet. The verified information is again passed on to the team to help them work on correct information.”
“Additionally, a team of over ten members is engaged in encouraging COVID-19 recovered patients to donate plasma since there is a shortage of plasma donors as well in this time of crisis. Along with the helplines, MAD is in contact with numerous vendors and suppliers of medicines and oxygen. Being in constant touch with hospitals, nodal officers of the hospitals, and various doctors, we’re able to help patients get hospital beds, ICUs, ventilators when required,” adds Karan.
Up until now, MAD has been able to assist with more than 200 hospital beds, over 80 blood plasma requests, and 150+ oxygen requests, including kits, refills, and flowmeters. Apart from acquiring help from outside sources, MAD itself is now providing patients with oxygen cylinders and has also procured concentrators. The organization also helps in providing ambulance services to the people who can not get them through 108 or emergency services.
Just Open Yourself (JOY) and Wanderers
Just Open Yourself is a Doon-based youth-driven non-profit organization. It has organized several social betterment campaigns and drives to date. At present, JOY, in collaboration with team Wanderers, is proactively involved in providing relief to the COVID-19 affected patients and families.
Jai Sharma, Founder, Just Open Yourself, says, “We started our relief mission on April 25, and since then, our volunteers have been working day and night to help coronavirus-affected people. We started with providing 2 oxygen cylinders and within one week could manage to get 70 oxygen cylinders. To date, we have circulated oxygen cylinders among 150 people and hope to help more. The services are being provided free of cost, with no security charges, no refill charges, and free delivery 24/7. We are also providing medicines in the uphill areas of the state. Our one section is also working on verified plasma donors. I wholeheartedly thank our frontline warriors Viddhant Bhatiya, Akshay, Harsh Ahuja, Rohit Kumar, Harshul Muniyal, Swaraj Singh Rawat, Naman Tiwari, Harshit Narang, Shrey, and Sajan Ahuja for selflessly contributing to the greater cause.”
“We are thankful to dancer and actor Raghav Juyal, who has helped us by providing 2 oxygen concentrator machines. We are touched by his efforts to help people through all the mediums,” adds Jai.
Team Warriors is a city-based NGO that arranges blood for the needy free of cost. The team consists of Shivam Bahuguna, Abhishek Tripathi, Pankaj Joshi, Prakash Gusain, Ritu Kanthola, Himanshu Jakhmola, Rahul Bahuguna, Monika Rauthan, Harpreet Singh, and Swati Tiwari. At present, there are over 1000 volunteers across the state associated with Team Warriors, arranging/donating blood free of cost.
Shivam Bahuguna, Founder, Team Warriors, says, “As the second wave of COVID-19 emerged, the demand for plasma increased drastically. Seeing this, we divided our team into three parts, viz. Calling Department to motivate and convince the plasma donors for blood donation, Medical Care Department for arranging hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, and Back Support Department for arranging other resources. We have also collaborated with other city-based NGOs and groups like Just Open Yourself and Wanderers.”
City-based NGO Saheli Trust works towards women empowerment and helps victims of domestic violence and abused children. The organization has been providing diverse support to all those affected by the second wave of coronavirus. The key people behind Saheli Trust are Dr. Nitin Pandey, Sonia Pandey, Shruti Kaushik, Jaya Singh, Amita Ahuja, Geeta Chatterjee, Manju Kaushik, and Anisha Madan.
Saheli Trust has come up with a provision of offering free accommodation for all those children below 12 years of age whose parents are ill or admitted to hospitals from COVID. The organization has made arrangements for such children to stay till the time their parents can take care of them.
The NGO is also providing food packets and water bottles on daily basis outside the Doon Hospital to those suffering from COVID, hospital staff, as well as some on-duty policemen. Apart from this, the organization has set up an ‘Oxygen Langar’ in Jakhan, where patients can come and take oxygen through oxygen concentrators, free of cost. Those in need of oxygen have to get their oxygen tubing along. The idea behind the oxygen langar is to provide temporary relief till either an oxygen cylinder or a hospital bed is arranged by the patient’s family.
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Doon-based NGO Flora Saviours is also contributing to a great extent during these distressing times. Sandeep Chauhan, Founder, Flora Saviours, says, “We have a team of 10 volunteers, out of which 5 are working on-ground and the other 5 are managing leads and reaching out to patients with the help of social media handles. We are helping COVID-affected people by providing oxygen cylinders, oxygen beds, ICU beds, connecting patients to doctors via online mediums, providing food, helping with cremation services, etc. We look forward to reaching out to more people affected in this second wave.”
Apart from the NGOs, many youngsters have formed WhatsApp groups including a list of volunteers from different parts of the city. These youngsters are doing a tremendous job by generating, monitoring, verifying, and forwarding COVID-related leads to those in need.
One such group is COVID Help Group Dehradun which has been working hard day and night to help the COVID sufferers. Himalaya Ramola, one of the core members of the group, says, “Many influential people, having strong backgrounds and sources, are added to the group and are working tirelessly to provide oxygen cans, concentrators, cylinders, ICU beds, plasma. We are also providing food and medicines by proactively working on-ground. I would like to thank all our core members – Himakshi Bahuguna, Ankita Jakhmola, Manan Sharma, Viraj Sikand, Harry Malhotra, Yashasvi Juyal, Gaurav Anand, Apoorva Anand, Sarthak Nautiyal, Aakriti Thapa, and Rajat Gautam, for their selfless help and support.”
He adds, “We have also started with our next step, i.e., approaching the mountains and providing relief material to the affected. For the same, we have started crowd-funding and request maximum people to come forward and help us fight this battle together!”
Another such group is Team 12 Uttarakhand, managed by Sushant Mohan. The group members have been continuously generating and verifying leads of COVID-related resources and are now approaching the rural areas where this deadly virus has started to spread like wildfire.
Lastly, we would like to mention that there are countless such NGOs, groups, and residents who are working tirelessly and selflessly day and night in their capacity and can’t be thanked enough for their contribution, but it isn’t possible for us to mention them all.