After having lost her mother to covid-19 due to lack of oxygen facilities, a woman in Chennai took it upon herself to provide the live-saving gas to patients outside the Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital (RGGGH) in ‘Oxygen Auto.’
Amid the raging second covid-19 wave that left people scrambling for hospital beds and oxygen supplies, many volunteers have stepped up to providing aid to distressed patients. Seetha Devi was faced with horrors when she struggled to arrange for an oxygen cylinder for her covid-19 positive mother, who was battling for breath on May 1.
Devi has been running an NGO, ‘Street Vision Charitable Trust’ for 19 years and doing charitable work for 12 causes, including running a food bank and care for HIV patients.
Speaking to News18 Tamil Nadu, Devi said, “On May 1, I was waiting at this same place (RGGGH) with my mother who was battling for breath. Even after waiting for 12 hours, we failed to receive an oxygen cylinder that led to my mother’s death. That incident made me take an immediate initiative to aid Covid patients who are suffering from fluctuating oxygen levels.’ This service is, in a way, a tribute to my mother, she adds.
The blue coloured ‘Oxygen Auto’ parked at the entrance of the Chennai hospital has an oxygen cylinder fixed inside the vehicle. Devi provides oxygen assistance to patients and drives them from RGGGH to Trade Centre in Nadambakkam, IIT, Royapettah and other Covid centres.
Devi has been saving Covid patients by providing them oxygen for free. Every day, she spends Rs 2,000 on diesel for her auto, PPE kit and other medical equipments. So far, she has saved 300 patients by providing oxygen in her auto at the right time.