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Dipen Gadhiya From Gujarat Used Social Media To Make Vital Medical Information Accessible Quickly During The Second COVID Wave

23-year-old Dipen Gadhiya from Junagarh, Gujarat helped coordinate the communication with medical resource suppliers during the second wave COVID-19 to make real-time information quickly accessible to those in need

हिन्दी में पढ़े
Dipen Gadhiya From Gujarat Used Social Media To Make Vital Medical Information Accessible Quickly During The Second COVID Wave
Highlights
  • Dipen and his team created a database of information useful for patients
  • His online initiative ‘Covid Resources’ has helped thousands of people
  • During the pandemic, we saw young people rise to the challenge: UNICEF

New Delhi: The second wave of COVID-19 in India which saw an alarming surge of coronavirus infection, led to a collapse of the healthcare system in many places and unleashed unprecedented devastation across the country. From a chronic shortage of hospital beds and oxygen supply to lack of medicines, medical facilities and timely treatment. This was also evident in the desperate cries for help on social media platforms. It was during this period that Dipen Gadhiya, 23-year-old Political Science student and social activist from Gujarat’s Junagadh began verifying the information floating on social media to help people access valid and verified information quickly and then started a website for providing a real-time database of medical resource suppliers and hospital facilities.

Also Read: Inspired By Frontline Workers, 22-year-old COVID Warrior From Odisha Joins The Fight Against COVID-19

While talking to NDTV about his work during the pandemic, Dipen recalled an incident when his friend urgently required oxygen for her grandparents. He forwarded her message to his friends and some of the WhatsApp groups that he was part of. He received a lot of phone numbers of suppliers but he failed to arrange oxygen in time and his friend lost both of her grandparents.

It happened due to the time we lost calling up unverified numbers. We lost precious time. Even though the medical infrastructure of our city was under a lot of pressure, I believe we could have saved my friend’s grandparents if we had correct information about the supplier who had the oxygen available at that time. There was a huge lack of medical oxygen in our city. The same evening, I got to know that in our city, 30 people died of Covid and half of them could not survive due to the lack of oxygen. This was a hard-hitting moment for me that spurred me to do something so that people in need of oxygen and get it before it gets too late.

He further said that being a social activist he is a part of many initiatives and groups on social media and WhatsApp. Dipen is also the founder of a non-governmental organisation Sensizens Trust – Sensible Citizens that works on creating awareness about the rights and duties of citizens and a part of YuWaah (Generation Unlimited India, UNICEF)’s #YoungWarrior movement and YuWaah’s National Young People’s Action Team (NYPAT) that was launched in May 2021 amidst the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This helped him create a team of 15 volunteers who were willing to spend time on making calls and visiting vendors of oxygen.

Also Read: Meet 24-Year-Old Asma Khan Who Is Leading The Youth Of Madhya Pradesh To Rise Up To Meet The Challenges of COVID-19 Pandemic

We named our group as ‘Covid Junagadh’. We verified sources and gave more updated and correct information to people. We connected more people on WhatsApp through various groups for spreading the verified information. All the queries that we were getting on through social media, we were posting IT on our group and responding with verified information, he said.

Within three days, the group started receiving an overwhelming number of queries that prompted Dipen to create a web link on Linktree, an application that creates a landing page to hosts multiple links. The App helped the group to provide information in an organized manner under different tabs for hospital beds, ICU (Intensive Care unit) beds, oxygen, essential medicines, ventilators and others. In order to present the real-time database that they were generating in a more user-friendly way, they created a website called ‘Covid Help, Junagadh’ with the help of a website developer who offered to provide his services free of cost for the cause. Within a week, the website reached over 70,000 visitors.

I remember, a couple from Jaipur who was visiting a family member in Junagadh got stuck here due to the lockdown and then got severe Covid infection. We arranged plasma for them in no time after they recovered soon and went back. A young girl urgently required oxygen at 2 am. While it was a challenging time for the family, our network of volunteers arranged it promptly. These were very touching moments for us. Some of the recovered patients told us that their doctors said that timely support helped in saving their lives. Such experiences boosted our morale and kept us motivated.

But the road was not easy for Dipen and his group of volunteers, they faced many challenges in their fight against Covid.

During the second wave, I think each person was under stress, especially those who directly impacted by Covid- patients, their families, doctors, hospital staff, chemists, suppliers of essential medical items. Even most of us were affected by the pandemic on one way or another. But, our job was to make calls and visit sources to know the status of the vital medical resources and update the database at least 4-5 times in a day because at that time, the caseload was very high and so the status of availability of beds, oxygen and other things were changing faster and the information was getting obsolete in just a few hours. So, the biggest problem we faced initially was to take the suppliers of important resources in confidence. They used to get very rude with us, which is understandable considering the kind of pressure they were during the devastating second wave. But our passion had more influence on us than our ego. So, we dealt with all the bad calls very patiently. Soon our group started getting recognition in our small town and things started getting easier for us. We also reached out to our local MLAs for support in spreading information. In terms of finance, we did not face any challenge as all we needed was a phone, laptop and internet connection.

Along with leading a youth campaign, Dipen also helped various NGOs and corporates conduct drives for distribution of food and immunity booster kits for the poor and needy who were in the home isolation.
Now Dipen and his group raise awareness about Covid and vaccination by organising online discussions with experts on their social media platforms. Dipen signed off saying,

The only way to beat the two enemies- pandemic and misinformation is to aggressively fight back. With the learnings, experience and contacts made during the second wave, we are ready for the challenges that the future waves might throw at us as far as verifying sources and providing real-time information in Junagadh is concerned.

Also Read: Salute The COVID Heroes Who Selflessly Helped India Fight COVID-19

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

World

24,24,98,327Cases
20,40,54,102Active
3,35,14,449Recovered
49,29,776Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,24,98,327 and 49,29,776 have died; 20,40,54,102 are active cases and 3,35,14,449 have recovered as on October 22, 2021 at 5:24 am.

India

3,41,43,236 15,786Cases
1,75,7453,086Active
3,35,14,449 18,641Recovered
4,53,042 231Deaths
In India, there are 3,41,43,236 confirmed cases including 4,53,042 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,75,745 and 3,35,14,449 have recovered as on October 22, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,98,218 1,573

27,899 1,434

64,30,394 2,968

1,39,925 39

Kerala

48,88,523 8,733

82,093 1,240

47,79,228 9,855

27,202 118

Karnataka

29,84,849 365

9,017 86

29,37,848 443

37,984 8

Tamil Nadu

26,91,797 1,164

13,790 268

26,42,039 1,412

35,968 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,62,303 493

5,500 66

20,42,476 552

14,327 7

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,068 10

107 5

16,87,062 14

22,899 1

West Bengal

15,83,646 833

7,535 44

15,57,090 775

19,021 14

Delhi

14,39,488 22

311 1

14,14,087 21

25,090

Odisha

10,37,056 524

4,336 51

10,24,422 573

8,298 2

Chhattisgarh

10,05,773 38

206 21

9,91,995 16

13,572 1

Rajasthan

9,54,395 2

36 2

9,45,405 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,353 13

156 20

8,16,110 33

10,087

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,721 12

88 6

7,82,110 6

10,523

Haryana

7,71,125 9

131 2

7,60,945 11

10,049

Bihar

7,26,042 6

30 0

7,16,351 6

9,661

Telangana

6,69,739 183

3,967 1

6,61,829 183

3,943 1

Assam

6,07,811 384

3,762 152

5,98,087 228

5,962 4

Punjab

6,02,135 22

226 6

5,85,358 27

16,551 1

Jharkhand

3,48,526 40

166 24

3,43,225 16

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,787 14

176 0

3,36,213 14

7,398

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,386 87

814 14

3,26,143 73

4,429

Himachal Pradesh

2,22,138 202

1,452 58

2,16,955 140

3,731 4

Goa

1,77,765 59

618 21

1,73,790 35

3,357 3

Puducherry

1,27,564 43

454 7

1,25,258 50

1,852

Manipur

1,23,051 81

1,346 14

1,19,800 94

1,905 1

Mizoram

1,15,944 737

10,034 229

1,05,510 962

400 4

Tripura

84,369 18

105 10

83,448 8

816

Meghalaya

83,210 52

735 26

81,034 76

1,441 2

Chandigarh

65,315 3

26 2

64,469 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,065 22

140 2

54,645 20

280

Sikkim

31,819 19

185 10

31,241 9

393

Nagaland

31,670 11

250 5

30,743 15

677 1

Ladakh

20,896 10

43 9

20,645 1

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,678 2

4 2

10,670

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,646

7 0

7,510

129

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