COVID Warriors: 50-year-old Retired Commander Converts His Car Into Oxygen Tanker, Provides Free Cylinders And Refilling

COVID Warriors: 50-year-old Retired Commander Converts His Car Into Oxygen Tanker, Provides Free Cylinders And Refilling

COVID warriors: Commander (retired) Rajiv Sardana along with his wife and two sons started free oxygen service in Delhi-NCR during the second wave of the pandemic in April
COVID Warriors 50-year-old Retired Commander Converts His Car Into Oxygen Tanker, Provides Free Cylinders And RefillingCOVID warriors: Rajiv Sardana started free oxygen service in Delhi-NCR by converting his Maruti Omni van into an oxygen tanker
  • The first oxygen refilling centre was set-up in Greater Noida
  • Mr Sardana and his team have helped around 400 people with oxygen
  • Mr Sardana and the team addressed the demand for oxygen 24x7

New Delhi: It’s July 6, India reported 34,703 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest in almost four months. The COVID numbers reflect that the second wave of the pandemic which peaked in May in the country is following a downward trajectory. But there is still a demand for medical essentials like oxygen cylinders, says Commander (retired) Rajiv Sardana who at 5 in the evening delivered two oxygen cylinders to a COVID patient in Delhi’s Janakpuri area. Mr Sardana, along with his family and friends has been helping COVID patients by providing life-saving oxygen since April this year for free.

Also Read: COVID Warriors: Meet The ‘Ambulance Couple’ From Delhi Who Has Been Providing Free Service For 20 Years Now

NDTV spoke to 50-year-old Mr Sardana, who is retired from the Indian Navy about his initiative. Sharing the idea behind starting ‘oxygen sewa’, Mr Sardana said,

We all were reading and watching news of people scrambling for hospital beds, oxygen and medicines. It hit me really when a close friend tested positive for COVID-19 and he was given oxygen in an ambulance while we waited to get a bed. After spending hours with my friend and seeing people struggle for something as basic oxygen, I decided to step out. At first, my family was against it, my mother said, ‘sab duniya ghar pe bethi aur tum log bahar sadak pe ghoom rahe ho’ (the world is sitting inside their homes and you people are roaming around). I explained to them the on-ground situation and said, either you can help me or sit at home, the choice is yours.

Also Read: In Srinagar, A Floating Ambulance Ferries COVID-19 Patients Across The Dal Lake To The Hospital

Mr Sardana along with the help of his wife Archana and younger son Ayush converted his Maruti Omni van into a small oxygen tanker carrying three jumbo cylinders each with a capacity of 7,000 litres and close to 20 small cylinders, and started helping people across the national capital. While the trio works on the ground, Mr Sardana’s elder son handles calls while sitting in Sydney.

Explaining how the trio managed to procure and distribute oxygen cylinders when everyone was struggling for it, Mr Sardana said he found a dealer in Faridabad and had to purchase oxygen in black. Further talking about their background that helped in the distribution drive, Mr Sardana said,

The four of us are trained scuba divers and my wife is a scuba instructor, so we are used to handling cylinders. Having said that, I know, for scuba diving, we have air cylinders but that gave us some knowledge about the usage of oxygen cylinders.

Also Read: Hyderabad Based NGO Aashri Society Is Leaving No Stone Unturned To Help People Amid The COVID-19 Crisis 

Soon, they established a refilling point in Greater Noida to help those who had an empty cylinder and could come themselves for getting it refilled. Over time, to reach a large population across Delhi-NCR, various oxygen centres were set-up in collaboration with local shops and also partnered with auto-rickshaw and cab drivers to transport the cylinders.

I can’t be present at all locations, so I had to join hands with people. So, we partnered with say an AC repair shop in Ramesh Nagar in Delhi. At their shop, they agreed to let us start the refilling facility. Some extended the helping hand for free while I had to pay some auto-rickshaw drivers for transportation, said Mr Sardana.

Also Read: Meet ‘Oxygen Man’ Of Patna, A COVID Survivor, Who Strives To Get Oxygen Cylinders To Critical Patients In Home Care

Since the first week of April, Sardanas along with the help of their friends and locals reached to around 400 people with cylinders for free. Mr Sardana said, the number could be more as they didn’t really keep a record initially.

Sharing the reason behind providing oxygen cylinder and refilling service for free, Mr Sardana said,

Some people were taking others in need for a ride; people were getting ripped off and that’s when we thought that we will procure and provide oxygen for free. I did feel overwhelmed at one time because I was getting close to 150 calls a day and night but somehow, we managed. Now, most of the refilling/pick-up centres are inactive as the demand for the oxygen has reduced. We are still refilling for free but for people who can afford to purchase a cylinder, we request them to buy. In case of any oxygen cylinder requirement, people can call me at 8802049992.

Mr Sardana is now starting an NGO called Oxygen Sewa Foundation and his friend has built a mobile application for him which will have a database of all oxygen centres in the national capital. Mr Sardana believes that the app will come in handy if and when the third wave arrives.

Also Read: Bengaluru Relief Riders Deliver Groceries, Medicines To Covid Patients, Elders

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene


Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,66,15,634 and 41,98,750 have died; 6,33,31,644 are active cases and 12,90,85,240 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 4:07 am.


3,15,72,344 44,230Cases
4,05,155 1,315Active
3,07,43,972 42,360Recovered
4,23,217 555Deaths
In India, there are 3,15,72,344 confirmed cases including 4,23,217 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,05,155 and 3,07,43,972 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

62,90,156 7,242

81,933 3,980

60,75,888 11,032

1,32,335 190


33,49,365 22,064

1,55,327 5,287

31,77,453 16,649

16,585 128


29,01,247 2,052

23,277 685

28,41,479 1,332

36,491 35

Tamil Nadu

25,55,664 1,859

21,207 314

25,00,434 2,145

34,023 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,62,049 2,107

21,279 280

19,27,438 1,807

13,332 20

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,373 60

784 16

16,84,834 44


West Bengal

15,26,539 766

11,300 70

14,97,116 822

18,123 14


14,36,144 51

554 19

14,10,541 70



10,01,781 130

2,086 140

9,86,175 270



9,74,132 1,615

15,276 489

9,53,088 2,039

5,768 65


9,53,622 17

259 9

9,44,410 26



8,24,829 27

268 6

8,14,485 33


Madhya Pradesh

7,91,796 18

130 0

7,81,153 18



7,69,858 30

712 10

7,59,516 17

9,630 3


7,24,719 46

481 1

7,14,596 42

9,642 3


6,43,716 623

9,188 126

6,30,732 746

3,796 3


5,99,005 58

553 6

5,82,162 60

16,290 4


5,64,030 1,299

14,114 385

5,44,695 1,664

5,221 20


3,47,105 56

259 22

3,41,720 34



3,41,982 48

669 3

3,33,952 51


Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,207 181

1,144 5

3,15,686 175

4,377 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,05,728 229

1,098 145

2,01,110 84



1,70,900 90

1,077 5

1,66,679 93

3,144 2


1,20,725 98

972 49

1,17,961 49



96,824 1,000

10,895 27

84,408 1,016

1,521 11


78,059 271

3,640 221

73,665 488

754 4


63,745 731

5,750 294

56,933 423

1,062 14


61,948 5

37 1

61,102 4


Arunachal Pradesh

47,477 335

4,252 49

43,000 383

225 1


37,171 764

11,862 252

25,168 511

141 1


27,653 67

1,299 51

25,798 114

556 4


26,132 276

3,297 180

22,498 92

337 4


20,324 4

60 4

20,057 8


Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,643 1

36 5

10,603 6



10,162 7

70 6

10,042 13


Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,534 3

10 3



Coronavirus Outbreak: Full CoverageTesting CentresFAQs

1 Comment

  1. rakesh kaushik

    what a brilliant initiative, that is amazing. people in the government should take inspiration from people like you. hats off to you and your family

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

COVID Warrior From Bhopal Converts His Auto-Rickshaw Into Ambulance, Sells Wife’s Jewellery To Help People

Pained by the visuals of COVID patients and their families struggling to find ambulance and access medical treatment, 36-year-old Mohammad Javed Khan, an auto-rickshaw driver from Bhopal decided to help people