While the media has been a source of deep anguish and anxiety over the past few months, it has also highlighted the tremendous efforts of people from all walks of life, in the fight against COVID-19.
From local Gurudwaras setting up temporary accommodation for coronavirus sufferers to an elderly citizen giving up his hospital bed (and life) for a younger patient, the humanitarian efforts and selfless acts of love that have recently come under the spotlight have encouraged all of us to unite in the fight against the deadly second wave.
Besides the frontline workers—medical professionals, armed forces, police staff, NGO volunteers etc—who continue to do their bit for their fellow citizens, people from all across the globe have extended a helping hand to India, the second worst-hit country by the global pandemic.
Here's a roundup of news that will restore your faith in humanity, will spark a light of hope, and will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
1) A Couple Who Lost Their Only Son to COVID-19, Break Their FD to Help Other Patients
A couple from Gujarat—Rasik and Kalpana Mehta—decided to break their 15 lakh fixed deposit to help other people battling the deadly virus, after their only son succumbed to the disease. Being celebrated as 'unsung heroes' on the net, they distributed PPE kits and other required material to over 200 patients, along with ensuring that over 350 people get vaccinated. Moreover, they sacrificed their car so that it can be used as an ambulance to aid patients in need.
2) A Beggar From Madurai Donated Rs. 90,000 to the PM Cares Fund
A beggar in Madurai that goes by the name 'Poolpandian' received an award from the district collector for his contribution towards the COVID-19 relief fund. He donated a handsome sum of Rs. 10,000, in nine installments, and was located by the government to be honoured with an award for his efforts.
3) A Man in Jharkhand Delivers Medicines and Ration to People, Wearing a PPE Kit
38 year-old Santosh Kumar has been supplying ration and medicines to COVID-19 positive patients, without taking a penny extra. He takes the orders via Whatsapp and delivers the essentials on his bike, while wearing a PPE kit for personal protection. The customers transfer the money to Santosh through a digital medium.
4) A Hyderabad Startup Develops a Stem-Cell Based Treatment For the Virus
A bunch of Indian organisations are making great strides in coming up with alternative treatments for the novel SARS-CoV-2. One such biotech startup based in Hyderabad, may have found a treatment for COVID-19—human umbilical cord (UC) tissue harvested and clinically processed adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) therapy.
5) Three Indian-American Siblings Raise Over $ 280,000 For Medical Supplies in India
As India grapples with the second wave of the ongoing pandemic, three Indian-American siblings who are the founders of a non-profit organisation, 'Little Mentors', raised over USD 280,000—by reaching out to school friends and family—to send essential oxygen equipment to India. The 15 year-old triplets—Gia, Karina and Armaan Gupta—also plan to maintain a database of the population, so that the supply can be effectively directed to those in dire need.
6) The 'Cycle to Save Lives' Challenge in the UK Manages to Raise Money For COVID-19 Relief Purposes in India
British IT consultant, Yogen Shah joined volunteers from one of Britain’s largest Hindu temples, who set out to raise 500,000 pounds by racking up 7,600 kilometers on stationary bikes—roughly the distance from London to Delhi—in 48 hours. These efforts at the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London’s Neasden neighborhood are one of the many fundraising events taking place in the UK, in the hope to send help to India.
7) An 85 year-old Man Gives Up His Hospital Bed For a Younger Patient
In the city of Nagpur, Maharashtra, an 85 year-old resident sacrificed his hospital bed—against medical advice, due to low oxygen levels—for a 40 year-old patient in need. He reportedly said, "I have already lived my life and would rather leave it to fate instead of blocking a bed at the cost of a younger patient." Eventually, the 85 year-old succumbed to the illness.
8) A Rickshaw Driver Converts His Vehicle Into an Ambulance
Mohammad Javed Khan, a 34 year-old driver in the city of Bhopal, converted his auto rickshaw into a mini ambulance—with an oxygen cylinder and an oximeter—after he witnessed people having to carry their sick relatives on their backs, due to the inability to afford an ambulance. While donors provided him with the cylinder and oximeter, a doctor taught him how to use to medical equipments.
9) A South-Delhi Gurudwara Organises an 'Oxygen Langar' For COVID-19 Patients
An 'oxygen langar' was organised by a Gurudwara in Delhi's Greater Kailash area, on behalf of the management committee of Gurudwara Singh Sabha, in collaboration with the former Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee chairperson, Manjit Singh.
10) A Patna-Based 'Oxygen Man' Saves More Than 900 Lives
Gaurav Rai—who himself battled the novel coronavirus—saved the lives of more than 950 COVID-19 patients, by supplying oxygen cylinders at their homes, free of cost. Delivering each cylinder personally, by driving from one place to another, Gaurav attained the name 'Oxygen Man' for his tremendous efforts.
11) Sikh Volunteers Set Up Temporary Accommodation For COVID-19 Patients
Volunteers at the Gurdwara Rakabganj in New Delhi set up a 200-bed covid care facility—equipped with all medical essentials—for COVID-19 patients in the capital. Many other religious organisations have also gone the extra mile to help the nation fight the second wave of the virus.
12) A Kerela Nurse Skips Her Grandmother's Funeral to Look After COVID-19 Patients
A nurse from Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)is being applauded for carrying on her covid duty, despite having lost her own grandmother. In an interview with India Today, Rakhi John said, "My bonding with Amma (grandmother) was eternal. I don't remember my mother as she passed away when I was quite young. My grandmother used to look after me and even taught me like her own kid. She was the one who taught me doing service of the needy ones."