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Here’s How The Youth Is Stepping Up To Help During The Covid Crisis

From finding hospital beds to arranging for essential goods

By Amrita Shahra Sachdev   June 8th, 2021

The upheaval caused by Covid-19 has debilitated the Indian economy and subsequently the healthcare systems. While the government blame game continues, young Indians in the meanwhile have heroically stepped up in record time and taken the reins to help the ailing victims of Covid-19 and their loved ones. This unprecedented national calamity has prompted them to urgently identify core issues, maximise the use of social media to crowdsource aid, and use their networks to amplify issues and find creative solutions and resourcesHere are three unique ways by which the youth is assisting Covid-stricken families.

1. Relief Riders

Cycling has caught the fancy of many folks this past year; it is outdoors, socially distanced and a perfect hobby to rejuvenate both, the mind and the body. These past two months, Bengaluru’s ‘bicycle mayor’ Sathya Sankaran (a member of BCYS which is a group of worldwide cycling mayors) has taken this hobby one philanthropic step further and turned his group of cyclists into Covid relief volunteers. These noble souls help deliver medicines and essentials and also at times, check-in on the elderly and disabled. They are active in the mornings when there is less traffic. Once a call is received on their Helpline, the request is passed around on Whatsapp. Whoever is in the vicinity pedals away to fulfil the request. Relief Riders were instituted in 2020 but have regrouped during this second, deadlier wave. Now cycling mayors of other cities like Chennai, Gurugram, and Mumbai with their group of volunteers also want to follow suit and have connected to the Bengaluru program. Find out more here.

 

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2. Meds For More 

Despite the rapidly depleting stock of medicines in the country, there is immense wastage of unused medicines, especially in the bigger cities. Dr Marcus Ranney and his wife Dr Raina, a doctor couple from Mumbai have started a medicine collection drive to bridge this supply and demand gap on May 1, 2021. They had a first-hand Covid experience in their household and noticed that post-recovery, there is enough medicine leftover to treat other patients. This realisation prompted them to begin their mission and in a short while, they have collected over 20 kgs of medicines already including Fabiflu, paracetamols, and vitamins. They have partnered with NGOs and the first lot of medicines is already on their way to a tribal village in Gujarat. The hope is to spread this initiative all across the city and then replicate the model around the country as well. Know more about the initiative here

 

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3. Find a Bed 

There is a severe dearth of hospital beds nationwide as health facilities are overfull and ill patients are being turned away without help. India’s International Movement to Unite Nations (IIMUN) has started Find a Bed, an organisation that has identified this gap and got together a team of 25,000 earnest students across the country, covering over 150 cities to connect patients to hospital beds. They are working around the clock to keep the website updated in real-time, which is a boon for patients who simply need to enter their preferred zip code and avail of the hospital bed options that appear instantly. Given the effectiveness of this website, influential celebrities like Shraddha Kapoor and Karan Johar have offered their social media platforms and networks to help them. Access the website here.

 

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If there’s a silver lining to this pandemic, it’s the unification of Indians from all walks of life for a common goal. The youth has demonstrated their keenness to help and have achieved miracles. The above exemplary initiatives have been welcomed by the Covid-19 patients and eased their suffering tremendously.

Lead Image Courtesy: Mikyla Creates via Pinterest