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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 Refilling
  • 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 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,95,44,435 and 47,08,190 have died; 19,20,52,504 are active cases and 3,27,83,741 have recovered as on September 22, 2021 at 3:49 am.


3,35,31,498 26,964Cases
3,27,83,741 34,167Recovered
4,45,768 383Deaths
In India, there are 3,35,31,498 confirmed cases including 4,45,768 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,01,989 and 3,27,83,741 have recovered as on September 22, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

65,27,629 3,131

44,269 960

63,44,744 4,021

1,38,616 70


45,39,926 15,768

1,61,765 5,813

43,54,264 21,367

23,897 214


29,69,361 818

13,769 617

29,17,944 1,414

37,648 21

Tamil Nadu

26,48,688 1,647

16,993 9

25,96,316 1,619

35,379 19

Andhra Pradesh

20,40,708 1,179

13,905 483

20,12,714 1,651

14,089 11

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,693 13

194 0

16,86,612 13


West Bengal

15,62,710 537

7,741 69

15,36,291 592

18,678 14


14,38,556 39

400 21

14,13,071 18



10,21,216 462

4,844 103

10,08,226 560

8,146 5


10,05,120 26

297 0

9,91,260 26



9,54,275 12

99 8

9,45,222 4



8,25,751 14

133 0

8,15,536 14


Madhya Pradesh

7,92,410 8

90 6

7,81,803 14



7,70,754 8

328 12

7,60,618 20



7,25,907 6

60 9

7,16,188 15



6,63,906 244

4,938 53

6,55,061 296

3,907 1


6,01,359 36

304 3

5,84,554 37

16,501 2


5,98,864 441

5,081 97

5,87,970 338

5,813 6


3,48,139 14

65 10

3,42,941 4



3,43,405 12

249 18

3,35,765 29

7,391 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,28,214 145

1,450 11

3,22,345 154

4,419 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,17,403 263

1,715 99

2,12,033 162

3,655 2


1,75,690 107

886 76

1,71,507 29

3,297 2


1,25,618 101

922 55

1,22,864 46



1,18,870 197

2,174 9

1,14,861 203

1,835 3


83,956 51

353 7

82,794 44



82,815 1,355

15,363 223

67,184 1,127

268 5


79,817 150

1,878 18

76,558 167

1,381 1


65,195 7

44 3

64,333 4


Arunachal Pradesh

54,190 64

413 3

53,504 60

273 1


31,014 43

627 27

30,007 70



30,959 52

470 3

29,832 46

657 3


20,743 6

144 6



Dadra And Nagar Haveli


0 0




10,360 1

9 1



Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,607 7

17 4

7,461 3


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