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 five stories from India, among many others, that restore our faith in humanity:
- Kerala youths team provides emergency transport, free funerals amid pandemic
A team of young volunteers in Thiruvananthapuram are helping patients and people under quarantine with essentials and medicines, transporting patients to hospitals, and cremating the bodies of the deceased.
“We provide many services. However, conducting funerals for Covid patients is the most difficult,” The New Indian Express quoted Roji, panchayat standing committee chairman, as saying.
“It’s not just about physical labour. Many precautions need to be taken while doing this job. We will have to wear the PPE kits for two or three hours under the blazing sun,” said G Kumar, team leader and panchayat vice-president.
- Bengaluru class 10 students raise Rs 2 lakh to buy oximeters for the underprivileged
Sneha Raghavan and Shloka Ashok, two Class 10 students of Greenwood High International School in Bengaluru, have raised over Rs 2 lakh in 24 hours to donate 300 pulse oximeters to underprivileged sections. The oximeters will be donated to a Bengaluru-based NGO, Sampark, that works with vulnerable groups, which will then be distributed to slum-dwellers in Bengaluru and rural women in Koppal in North Karnataka.
For the project, the students designed posters and created a fundraiser page on the GiveIndia website and also reached out to various oximeter manufacturers for better deals. “I spoke to at least five manufacturers, but because of the shortage, some demanded high prices. We had set a goal to raise Rs 2 lakh, but we exceeded it by Rs 14,000. We increased the number of oximeters to 300,” The New Indian Express quoted Shloka as saying.
“As our board exams are cancelled, we have more time for social initiatives. Now, I am making posters to spread awareness on the pandemic and vaccination, because that is of prime importance,” added Shloka.
- Coimbatore couple pledges gold ornaments, donates 100 fans to Covid ward
A couple from Coimbatore have pledged their jewellery and donated 100 pedestal fans to the Covid ward of the ESI hospital. The couple pledged gold ornaments worth Rs 2.20 lakh to buy the fans.
M Raveendran, the dean of the hospital, told The New Indian Express, “We were initially reluctant to accept the offer. But they just wouldn’t leave the premises without making the donation.”
“The good samaritans also requested us to avoid publicising their contribution as they called it a favour they did for Covid patients,” said the dean.
- 22-year-old woman travels for two hours to donate blood to pregnant lady in Hyderabad
Ravali Thikka, 22, went out of her way and travelled for more than two hours to donate blood to a nine-month pregnant woman, who was a victim of circumstances. Her husband recently tested positive for Covid-19.
“My wife, Vajeera (25) was not positive but due to some medical issues, the doctors said she needed blood. I reached out to blood banks, but they said it was not available. I called others but no one agreed. When I was losing hope and was getting too scared for my child and wife, a reply to my WhatsApp status, asking for blood donation, came as a ray of hope,” said 26-year-old G Prashant.
Ravali was determined to help the woman in need. “I saw the blood donation request and realised that I fit in all criteria and I immediately decided to travel to Mulugu,” The New Indian Express quoted Ravali as saying.
“My parents were reluctant to let me go as they were scared for me to travel, especially at this time, but I was determined. So, I convinced my parents and took a public bus to reach Mulugu,” she added.
- Kerala businessman gives away 15 tempos, plans to turn them into Covid-care ambulances
A man from Kerala’s Kochi, who owns a fleet of tempo travellers, has decided to turn the vehicles into Covid-care ambulances, The New Indian Express reported. The district is facing a shortage of facilities amid the pandemic.
“It costs around Rs 10,000 to convert a traveller into an ambulance by adding stretchers, fixing oxygen cylinders and first aid kits,” said Najeeb Vellakal, who has been in the vehicle rental business for over 20 years.
“I am willing to convert the rest of my 15 vehicles into Covid ambulances if they agree,” he said, adding that the ambulance will charge an affordable rent from people, just enough to pay the driver and get fuel.