At a time when the availability of resources are scarce and service have either been hindered or restricted completely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ‘bicycle mayor’ of Hyderabad has been using his bike to delivering essentials along with smiles to the doorsteps pf the elderly.
Hyderabad resident Santhana Selvan, 41, was dubbed the ‘Bicycle Mayor’ of the city by the international bicycling organisation ‘BYCS’ earlier in April. The organisation aims to promote the use of bicycles in cities to reduce pollution in crowded spaces. A few weeks ago, the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic started to engulf parts of India including Hyderabad, Selvan shared a message on social media, offering his services for the elderly who were unable to come out of their homes to even shop for essentials like medicines out of fear of catching or transmitting the virus.’s
That’s where Selvan and his volunteers stepped in. Selvan put out a call on social media, offering to deliver medicines to the elderly on his bicycle. Several volunteers also responded to the post.
What started out as a small initiative to deliver medicines to the elderly has now grown into a loose collective of nearly 100 volunteers knows as ‘Relief Riders’. While the volunteers had initially been delivering just medicines to the elderly, their services have now expanded to searching for oxygen cylinders and concentrators, hospital beds, ventilators, plasma donors, and medicines required by Covid-19 patients and connecting these resources to those in need.
According to a report in The Indian Express, Selvan and his friends are now planning to scale up their services and also deliver food and other essentials.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday announced Rs 50,000 crore term liquidity for ramping up Covid-related healthcare infrastructure and services till 2022 in the backdrop of the second wave of the pandemic sweeping across India. On Tuesday, India recorded 3,460 Covid deaths and 3.57 lakh new cases.