As the pandemic has exposed the underwhelming healthcare availability with regards to medicines, ICU beds and most importantly shortage of oxygen, good Samaritans on social media too have joined hands in helping out those affected by the pandemic. In an heartwarming incident of solidarity, a 38-year-old school teacher from Bokaro in Jharkhand responded to an SOS call from the family of a covid-afflicted friend’s family in Noida for oxygen support. He drove 1,400km through three states and rode for 24 hours with a gas-filled oxygen cylinder to save his friend’s life, The Times of India reported.
Devendra, who lives in resident of Sector 4 of Bokaro started for Noida in his car at around 1.30pm on Sunday when he learnt from the parents of his friend Ranjan Aggarwal, an IT employee working in Delhi that they had not been able to procure oxygen cylinder. Devendra himself faced hurdles trying to find an oxygen cylinder in Bokaro. He visited many oxygen plants and suppliers in the city but they all said they would need an empty cylinder to refill it.
He finally reached out to the operator of Jharkhand Steel Oxygen Plant in the Balidih industrial area and was able to get a full cylinder against a security deposit.
Devendra paid Rs 10,000 which included a charge of Rs 400 for the oxygen and started on the long and arduous journey to Noida. The police in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh enquired why he was going the long way, but after he explained the situation, they allowed him to go on. He reached Noida on Monday afternoon, and was able to reach his friend in time to get him the oxygen cylinder.
“My friend is stable now. I will stay in Noida till he recovers fully,” Devendra was quoted by TOI as saying.
Many like Devendra have sensed the acute shortage and risen up to occasion to help as much as they could. But there have been some godsends who have gone out of their way to help those in need.