Humanity amid the Covid-19 pandemic is facing an unprecedented crisis and some spirited souls have risen to the occasion to help out others even compromising their safety at times.
Besides the overworked government machinery, NGOs, volunteers and socio groups are extending help but some individuals have stood up to the occasion, going beyond limits to help out distressed humans.
An author-cum-social activist
Hailing to cantonment town Mhow, this 23-year-old author-cum-social activist Ankit Bagdi has a Twitter timeline dotted with SoS messages related to Covid-19 in the last one month and a half and people pleading for help and some others expressing gratitude for the helping hand in the hour of crisis.
Large numbers of them are not known to him and are from far off places in the country.
Ankit, who has penned two novels, ‘My Procession Is On My Door’ and ‘The Roar of My Silence’, last year had used proceeds of the books to help migrant and rural women improve their hygiene practices by giving them free sanitary pads. Since last year, he has distributed around 2.2 lakh pad packets including 70,000 since March 2021, and in the process also developed a channel of volunteers spanned across the country.
Recently, he distributed pads in Mhow through Fair Price Shops, an alternate mode chosen as several of his team members were down with the virus.
When health needs surmounted other requirements during the pandemic’s fresh wave, Bagdi has utilised his network to extend help in arranging hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, ventilators, medicines and so on. The young lad remains active on social media especially on Twitter and picks up SoS messages tagged to him or his contacts in no time and re-routes help through his network.
Maybe it’s Bhopal, Indore in MP or far off cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Noida or any other city, Ankit finds a way to extend help.
“Recently a girl from Mhow was pleading for Tocilizumab injections for his father, I scanned around 300 distributors through my network and finally found one at Kochi who offered vials on MRP and these vials were flown into MP in a flight and the hapless man was saved,” recounted Ankit.
At times politicians and their teams come in handy as recently MP Tejasvi Surya has helped me find beds for a patient, he added. “We all need to stand for each other in this hour of deep crisis,” said the young social activist.
Entrepreneur develops detachable ambulance to aid Covid-19 patients
The plight of Covid patients and their kin have melted many hearts. Dhar-based steel fabricator Dr Aziz Khan is one such person who was pained to see patients’ families struggling for ambulances and often kin taking patients or bodies on cycles or pushcarts.
Dr Khan, a former lecturer of mechanical engineering at a polytechnic college had decided to do something and using scrap, as the market is closed, designed a detachable ambulance that could be tagged to any bike. The ambulance is fitted with a drip, oxygen cylinder and medicines.
“The district collector asked me to build four such ambulances and private supplies want me to build 500 more but I have limited resources amid lockdown,” said Dr Khan who has built four such ambulances and has placed them outside his factory.
These ambulances could be attached to any bike in seconds and anyone could take them from the factory by showing medical documents of the patient, said the entrepreneur saying that these vehicles are 20 times more useful in remote rural areas. In a sitting position, an attendee can sit in the ambulance with a patient besides a rider ahead.
Recently this ambulance was used to send a patient to a Covid care centre covering a distance of 70km, said Dr Khan who is now flooded with offers of oxygen refills and other help from locals.
“While making this, I kept in mind the legal aspects and studied motor vehicle acts of the Centre and the State to ensure that the modified bike ambulance adheres to the norms,” said Dr Khan.
The portable ambulances have helped 17 patients including five critical ones.
Indore gets its own ‘Sonu Sood’
This Indore boy had been unrelenting when it came to helping others in distress, maybe it’s finding a hospital bed for any patient past midnight, arranging medicine or offering food to patient or kin who reach Indore from far off places. Abhishek Rokade, a young physiotherapy student of MGM College Indore, saw Covid-19 hardships from close quarters last month when his mother and brother contracted the infection.
“I saw people getting turned away from counter even if the hospitals had vacant beds,” said Abhishek, who since last month has been busy 24×7 helping those in distress.
The young lad never shied away even if he had to shell out money from his pocket to pay hospital bills, buy medicines and offer food to a patient or the kin. “People come here from far off places and I offer them food from my home,” said Abhishek, who once got an elderly woman admitted to a local hospital at 3 am.
“Woman’s family was turned away by the hospital but I went there and somehow persuaded to admit the woman and even personally lifted her despite she being a Covid-19 positive,” he said.
“You initiate and help follows,” said Abhishek, adding SGSITS College has helped him with four oxygen cylinders, some help with medicines and some with other means. “My contact number is all around in the city and I never avoid any unknown number,” said the young man who is now called Indore’s Sonu Sood. “My phone is packed with x-ray and CT scan reports, oxygen and medicine requests and SoS calls,” said Abhishek with a smile, adding his friends have stopped communicating with him saying he has stepped into a different world together.
He had also met with an accident while returning from a hospital after helping a patient. Now, he is busy generating funds for a patient, Ruchita Jaiswal (CT score 25/25), who needs Rs 20 lakh for treatment after her family has already spent Rs 15 lakh.
“I am trying for a crowdfunding source for the hapless patient,” said Abhishek whose entire family supports his cause by heart.
(Inputs Navin Mehar, Dhar)