The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc around the world, and India is in a state of despair, today more than ever. Hospitals and crematoriums are witnessing unending queues every day. People are begging for hospital beds and oxygen, and dying in the absence of both.
The country is on its knees. Cries for help are going unanswered. India is devastated.
Despite everything that is bad, however, it is essential that we look at the bright side once in a while, but address the issues at the same time. In times as trying as these amid the pandemic, here are some stories from India, among many others, that restore our faith in humanity, give us hope and tell us how kindness and compassion are above everything else. These are stories of people making a difference amid the pandemic:
- Kerala man turns his autorickshaw into ambulance
While most autorickshaw drivers are afraid to offer a ride to people amid the pandemic — especially if they want to visit a hospital — a 51-year-old auto rickshaw driver from Vellur near Payyannur offers help to such people. K Premachandran’s autorickshaw with the number KL-59 K3957 has come to be known in Payyannur and nearby areas as the “common man’s ambulance”, The New Indian Express reported.
“Many such people who hire an autorickshaw are always poor, common people. They call us as they don’t have any other option. However, with Covid cases going up, many autorickshaw drivers stopped giving rides to them. I felt it was not fair,” Premachandran said.
“So far, I have undertaken over 500 trips to hospitals, taking passengers for Covid tests,” he added.
- Raipur Mayor arranges treatment for Covid-positive woman
When 27-year-old Usha Rajput landed at Raipur railway station, a woman constable directed her to undergo a Covid test arranged for passengers. She tested positive.
The staff manning the COVID-19 test centre called up the concerned authorities at the Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) and sought a directive, informing them about Usha’s test result.
When the RMC Mayor Aijaz Dhebar learnt about the incident, he immediately demanded that she be shifted to the Indoor stadium. The stadium has been converted into a Covid Care Centre in Raipur, The New Indian Express reported.
“She stayed at the Covid Care Centre for about two weeks and recovered. As she was all alone, it was our moral responsibility to ensure her safe return to her home at Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. Her railway ticket was arranged and Rs 5000 given as assistance for her journey,” Dhebar stated.
Before leaving Raipur, Usha said: “I will remain grateful for all the concerns and support given in an unfamiliar city where I also received proper treatment. With no one accompanying me, I was panic-stricken after being tested positive at the station. The Raipur Mayor has been kind enough to book my ticket and offer financial help. Special thanks to him.”
- Nagpur astrologer feeds strays amid pandemic
At a time when humans are struggling to earn a livelihood, stray animals too are in a state of despair. With shops and streetside restaurants shut down, the strays are struggling to find food.
In times as trying as these, Ranjeet Nath from Nagpur is providing chicken biryani to around 150 strays. The astrologer, 58, has been cooking almost 35 kg biryani daily since the pandemic began, The Times Of India reported.
“I have 10-12 fixed locations and my ‘bacche’ know them. The moment they see me, they start running towards me,” said Ranjeet, who does it seven days a week.
“Once on the streets, I do not discriminate against strays. I also feed cats but since the biryani has meat, I do not offer it to cows,” he added.