Humanity shines forth in crisis as people come together across lines of caste, class and faith in the fight against Covid-19. The pandemic has proven to be a medical and humanitarian crisis which continues to ravage families and communities. Voluntary support from individuals and various organisations is coming forth as a godsend. Working day and night to save lives on-ground, volunteers from various religion-based and cause-based organisations give hope in this deepening war on coronavirus.
An example is the Dawoodi Bohra community, which has tried to maintain the spirit of Eid by lending a helping hand wherever possible.
"Our Dawoodi Bohra volunteers across different parts of the country are doing everything possible, especially during the holy month of Ramadan to help locals with medical care, food, water and dry rations," said Yusuf Hakimuddin, a member of Project Rise, adding, "As part of the community's global social care initiative, Project Rise, special Covid Care Centres and dedicated War Rooms have been set up in Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Indore and Kolkata to provide beds, oxygen cylinders and essential medical supplies to those facing hardship."
Citizen volunteers Sanjay Raina and Adnan Shah, who hail from Kashmir, believe that during a national crisis of this dimension, conscientious citizens must rise above political, religious and social divides to help each other. They are rallying necessary resources via their Twitter handle, 'PlasmaNCR' to field requests and expand plasma donor pools.
Khalsa Aid India, the humanitarian organisation known for providing support to victims of natural disasters and civil conflicts, has descended on-ground for Covid-relief work as well. As of last week, they have distributed over 350 concentrators to needy patients at their doorstep, and are raising funds for the procurement of 5,000 concentrators for other cities as well.
Amarpreet Singh, Managing Director, Khalsa Aid Asia Pacific said last week, "The nation was grappling with bare minimum resources and we were receiving distress calls overwhelmingly. That's when we started with the distribution of oxygen concentrators in and around Delhi. It's been 8 days now; we have distributed around over 350 concentrators to the most needy patients. Our volunteers have been on-the-go 24x7 ensuring concentrators reach the doorstep of the patient. We are eternally grateful to ImpactGuru for believing in us and helping us to expand our outreach."
In a nationwide initiative, ISKCON temples have come forward to help as well. ISKCON Delhi has been regularly serving nutritious food to elderly people, pregnant women, and people affected by Covid-19 at their doorstep. More recently, ISKCON Delhi with the support of the government has set up a Covid-care centre at DDU College, Dwarka. The 200-bed oxygen-equipped facility provides free-of-cost basic treatment to the people infected by the virus. The temple team has also arranged yoga classes, mantra meditation, and counseling at the centre for mental health and speedy recovery of the patients.
An ISKCON volunteer says, "We not only believe in treating the disease but also healing the person so that they become fully active and healthy. So in this centre along with basic medication and treatment required, we also focus on activities that keep a person both physically and mentally fit."
Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana (BJS), a pan-India NGO working in disaster response, education and medical aid, has placed over 110 on-ground support volunteers in Delhi government hospitals in Covid-19 wards, vaccination centres, RT-PCR test centres, help desk, telecalling helpline, and management of the attendants and patients as per need, from April 22 till date. BJS Delhi General Secretary Vijay Jain said: "We recognise the severity and spread of this pandemic in India, and especially in Delhi which is gasping for breath. We intend to increase the strength to over 250 with the support of people and sponsors. Cricketing legend Virender Sehwag through his Foundation has come forward generously and has also contributed to our Mission Oxygen Concentrator Bank of over 150 machines in Delhi to be given on rotational basis to hospitals/community." It plans to significantly expand outreach and volunteer base.
Nehemiah Abraham from Project Life said that just within a week, their volunteers were able to impact 12 communities with the distribution of recovery kits, medicines and other essentials. They have also acquired oxygen concentrators for distribution.
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