COVID volunteers in Gorakhpur emerge as saviours
During the tough times when Gorakhpur witnessed deaths and sufferings due to COVID-19, a group of 15 young volunteers calling themselves 'Team Madad' have emerged as saviours, helping people with food, medicines and counselling.
Gorakhpur: During the tough times when Gorakhpur witnessed deaths and sufferings due to COVID-19, a group of 15 young volunteers calling themselves 'Team Madad' have emerged as saviours, helping people with food, medicines and counselling.
From providing information about vacant ICU beds and ventilators to delivering medicines and arranging transportation, the team which comprises students, professionals, social activists and journalists, has come to the rescue of the needy.
One of the members, Satya Charan Rai, told PTI that the volunteers came in contact on social media during the first wave of coronavirus and formed a team.
"We started holding online meetings and decided to feed migrant labourers. Each one of us started distributing food with the help of local volunteers in their respective areas," he said.
Team "Madad", which means "help", has seven women members and it has also been actively working towards arranging plasma and providing counselling.
"We also contacted public representatives to strengthen our drive and circulated our phone numbers on social media after which we started getting calls round the clock," Rai said.
During the second wave of the pandemic, especially last month, many people were not getting medicines so we started contacting wholesalers and helped in delivering and providing information about the availability of medicines," he said. The team collected data on vacant beds with the help of patients as the hospitals did not cooperate, he said, adding that a list of COVID hospitals was also circulated on social media.
Rai further said that a WhatsApp group including the team members and administrative officials was formed which was very helpful in extending help to the needy.
Talking about the support they received from officials, he mentioned that Sadar tehsildar went out of the way to help patients.
On the team's efforts in rural areas, he said, "The condition is now getting better in Gorakhpur and there is no crisis of oxygen and beds but there is a surge in COVID cases in rural areas which is a real challenge as the healthcare system is not strong there."
"We are also focusing on rural areas now. We are giving online counselling to people and trying to fill them up with positive energy," he stressed.
Recognising the help extended to him by Team Madad, Shamshad Ansari, resident of Bishnupura village, said, "My 35-year-old wife Nafeesa Khatoon is suffering from chronic kidney disease and during the first week of May she tested COVID positive. When we failed to get an ICU bed, we contacted Team Madad and they not only informed us about a vacant ICU bed but also helped me in getting medicines."
"My wife is now out of danger and I am very thankful to Team Madad as they not only helped me but gave me counselling during these stressful days," he added.