History is a subject that I admire besides my love for Psychology & Literature. The 20th century witnessed two world wars and the people of those times went through the horrors and devastation that the wars brought along. The first two decades of the 21st century were very promising for almost all the nations, as the economy boomed with the advent of globalisation and IT revolution. But since the start of the year 2020, dark ‘war clouds’ started looming over almost continents of the world. The enemy being an invisible virus name COVID-19 along with all its mutant ‘allied’ forces has literally declared war on the human race!
It all started from China and then it spread across the world. Since then, the world is engulfed into an air of gloom & despair, given the global health crisis the pandemic has brought along. The second wave of the pandemic hit India in March 2021. The Indian mutation of the virus is rapidly infecting the masses. Its causing mayhem in Delhi, the Capital of India. On 4th May 2021, a nation-wide record number of 3,82146 new cases of COVID-19 positive were registered in a single day! Though Mumbai numbers are mellowing down, still the threat of the virus attack lingers in the minds of the citizens. Though the recovery rate in Mumbai is 89%, the horrors of unavailability of hospital beds and lack of ample oxygen supply is causing panic among people.
Also, when news channels report heart wrenching stories of desperate caretakers running around for hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, the mind searches for sources of hope & positive spirit to sail through these difficult ‘war’ times. Indeed, hope did arrive as world-wide help has started reaching India. Till now, U.S.A, United Kingdom, UAE, Russia, Taiwan, France, Thailand, Romania, Ireland, Bahrain and Singapore have responded by sending vaccines, oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, medical tools, safety kits, and more. Here’s a video link of the world responding to India’s SOS call: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeOoP2jNPu4
Locally too various religious & social communities have offered relief for the ‘war against the virus’. The Jumma Masjid in South Mumbai has started free ambulance services for COVID positive & other patients. In New Delhi a 250 bed COVID care centre has been established in the premise of Rakabganj Gurudwara Sahib! Earlier Hindu religious institutions across India have been releasing funds from time to time to provide food and medical relief measures like organizing blood/plasma donation camps, which is being done at a ‘war effort level’. I sometimes wonder what if the wealth (received from devotees) of religious institutions like Siddhi Vinayak Trust, Mahalakshmi Trust, Lalbagcha Raja Trust, Shirdi Sai Baba Trust, Jagganath Puri Trust, Tirupati Balaji Trust, Ajmer Darga Trust, Amritsar Golden Temple Trust, Mount Mary, Bandra Trust is combined together and chanellized for nation building, especially for developing infrastructures that will take care of the medical crisis to begin with & thereafter in re-building the economy? But this is only possible if there is good governance & leadership and above all if ‘the hearts of these temple trust’s committee members is larger than the bank balances of the temples’! This video link will provide a glimpse in the net worth of rich temples of India. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFfmr2VDAsA
Corporate organizations too have provided relief. The Tata Group has decided to convert most of their hotels into COVID care centres and have decided to airlift 60 cryogenic tankers from overseas, and build 400 oxygen plants. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjnIIGXsHbE
The Reliance Foundation Trust has recently taken over NSCI COVID care centre in Mumbai. Previously they had taken over the operations of Seven Hill Hospital at Andheri, Mumbai. Here is a video showcasing Reliance Foundation’s initiative towards COVID crisis management https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omxQpDhyKwo
These and many more corporates have offered help and thereby practicing the gesture of corporate social responsibility.
When so much of pain & crisis surrounds the nation, its difficult for the talented and skill worthy youth to silently sit and helplessly watch the virus gripping the lungs of fellow citizens. I realized this when I got to know the recent initiative taken by Maker’s Asylum- a community run by a team of dedicated youngsters, who strive to provide an ecosystem to youth so that innovative ideas are nurtured and developed for creating a social impact. Maker’s Asylum (MA), founded by Vaibhav Chhabra has taken the initiative “to build a frugal DIY Oxi Kit (Oxygen Generator) that can be made with locally sourced materials in India to offer a decentralised way of manufacturing and bring relief to the extremely resource crunched hospitals in India”. For more details please click the video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WARfxaF5iHg
I have been closely following Maker’s Asylum’s work & trust that under the able leadership of Vaibhav and Richa Shrivastava (Managing Partner of MA) they will deliver what they have planned. Combating with the COVID-19 virus is like a ‘war’ being waged against the virus. In this ‘war effort’, I have supported them in their mission by contributing a small amount to build the ‘oxygen shield’ that I believe will save many lives. I request my readers to either donate funds or join hands with them with your skill sets (physically or through virtual mediums by offering consultations) to help them achieve the mission. I believe, its high time now that we stop cribbing about the problem, rather lets be a part of the solution by contributing! Fund Donation link: https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/m19-oxygen-concentrators-make-in-india?utm_medium=fbpageshare&utm_content=4068968&shby=1&utm_source=internal&utm_campaign=m19-oxygen-concentrators-make-in-india&fbclid=IwAR1d3JO2xBGNa5Kact8Of_wGCBMY8TG8bLEfkADuRFOQaW_klYgOrGx8F-c
With all the global and local support that India is receiving I am sure the nation will bounce back. Just like in 1944, when the ‘World War 2, D-Day Normandy landings’ offered relief to the Allied troops in France, after which there was no looking back. When relief is expected and accordingly providence is done, the soul fights back with rejuvenated spirit. This magic happens when the mind knows that ‘someone cares!’
All the events happening around us will go in the books of History one day. 10 years ahead, as we look behind, I am sure we all, who are positive spirited, will consider this as an experience that made us go through all the emotions and would share stories of how we successfully fought ‘the war against the virus’!
NOTE: Dedicating this article to Reliance Foundation Trust that operates Seven Hills Hospital, Andheri, Mumbai and the team of Doctors & medical staff there, who took care of my mom during her fight against COVID-19 virus. Their efforts are highly appreciated.
Photo Courtesy: Indiatimes.com, reliancefoundation.org & Shraddha. C. Sankulkar
Quality meet-Teaming up with Vaibhav Chhabra (middle) the co-founder of Maker’s Asylum at Sports Hackathon, XIMB, Bhubaneshwar in Jan’ 2020
Vaccination time with a nurse from H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital, Mumbai
Awaiting my turn at the vaccination centre
COVID care centre at Rakabganj Gurudwara Sahib, New Delhi.
Reliance Foundation Trust and team of doctors working round the clock as front line warriors.