Citizens Are Plugging India’s Gaping, Governance Gaps In Covid Care -Salik Ahmad
As India faces a catastrophic second wave and the government is largely prominent by its absence, thousands of ordinary citizens are stepping up to help with information, oxygen, hospital beds, crematoria and even performing last rites, regardless of religion.
New Delhi: Ifrah Fatima, 26, an MBBS graduate in Hyderabad was “doomscrolling Twitter” on 18 April, feeling “utterly helpless” about India’s Covid-19 emergency, when an idea struck her. She posted on Instagram, asking medic friends if they would be willing to be part of a pro bono tele-consultation initiative.
Count-me-in messages poured in and, within a day, a group of more than 20 doctors had come together to advise mild Covid-19 patients and guide them on treatment and monitoring symptoms. In the first week, they logged over a thousand calls from across India.
As India faces its worst-ever Covid emergency, citizens like Fatima are pitching in generously—a baker in Hyderabad sends free brownies to anyone donating plasma, an auto-rickshaw driver in Ranchi gives free rides to patients, a mental health start-up is offering free counselling.
One of the earliest examples of this was the story of Shahnawaz Sheikh, 31, who sold his Ford Endeavour SUV for Rs 22 lakh in 2020 to buy oxygen cylinders for Covid-19 patients. More famously, Pyare Khan, a transport and logistics company owner from Nagpur, donated Rs 85 lakh to ensure supply and movement of oxygen in his region.
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Article-14.com, 29 April, 2021, https://www.article-14.com/post/citizens-are-plugging-india-s-gaping-governance-gaps-in-covid-care