New Delhi: “Who knew that oxygen, already available in the air and horribly taken for granted by humans, would become such a scarce and priced commodity? This pandemic has left us all gasping. My 63-year-old mother could not survive the wrath of COVID-19 as her oxygen level was fluctuating and we could not find enough support from the hospital,” said a 37-year-old resident of Delhi while talking to NDTV about the oxygen emergency facing various parts of the country amid a massive spike in cases. As the country continues to battle another wave of the pandemic, a Gurugram based NGO Hemkunt Foundation has come forward to help desperate families hit by the pandemic and rescue critical patients by distributing oxygen cylinders through its network of volunteers.
Speaking to NDTV, Harteerath Singh, Community Development Director at Hemkunt Foundation, said,
We have been working as an NGO for the last 10 years globally, but this is the worst we have ever seen. There is an oxygen crisis. We see long queues outside our office even after we have run out of cylinders. We procure the cylinders from different states because it is difficult to get those in Delhi. We prioritise – we check the oxygen levels of the patient, verify it through documents or video calls. Right now we are prioritizing patients who have oxygen level below 85.
Today’s #OxygenCylinder drive was scheduled for 3:30pm but we had 1000s of ppl waiting outside our head office at 1pm itself.
— Hemkunt Foundation (@Hemkunt_Fdn) April 22, 2021
Founded in 2010, Hemkunt Foundation’s motto is based upon a popular Sikh principle of ‘Sarbat Da Bhalla’ which means welfare for all. The foundation has been working towards providing livelihoods, disaster relief, access to basic human rights and education to those in need.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, the NGO helped in providing relief and rehabilitation to the migrant families that were returning to their home because of the loss of livelihood due to the lockdown. Now, recognising the need of the hour, the organisation started arranging oxygen for critically sick COVID patients in February. As the cases started surging, the NGO started receiving thousands of calls every day. Since April 20, the foundation has been conducting drives to help more patients. Their work is being supported by crowdfunding and donations.
Currently, the NGO is running two separate drives for providing oxygen cylinders- drive-through and home delivery. The drive-through project runs from a makeshift arrangement where the volunteers check the COVID report and oxygen status of patients. For home delivery, they ask photos of the patient, their COVID test report, recent oxygen level.
Drive Thru is a huge success- 100s of cars are here with Critical #COVID19 patients who need a first aid responder and constant supply of #oxygen. The concept here is to give the patient oxygen until they find a bedhttps://t.co/uTCwFwNCZ0#COVID19India #OxygenCrisis pic.twitter.com/fLDemLcLgu
— Hemkunt Foundation (@Hemkunt_Fdn) April 24, 2021
A resident of Sector 50, Gurugram who procured an oxygen cylinder for her mother said,
I have come to the drive organized by Hemkunt Foundation to take an oxygen cylinder for my mother. She has been suffering for the last two days due to the lack of oxygen. It is a scary situation for all of us.
A resident of Delhi who could not find oxygen supply in the capital reached out to the NGO for help. She said,
I have come here from Delhi. My father is COVID positive. He is an elderly person and there is fluctuation in his oxygen level. So that’s why procuring an oxygen cylinder is really urgent for me. We have come here all the way from Delhi, even though there is a curfew in place, in a hope that we will get some help here.
To avoid any stocking of cylinders, the NGO provides only one cylinder per patient. Those who can afford to pay, deposit token money of Rs. 10,000 which is refundable upon returning the cylinder and those who cannot are given the cylinders for free.
The NGO has also started oxygen collection centres at Versova and Airoli in Mumbai where they take help from Gurudwaras situated in the city to distribute these tanks.
We cannot waste a single minute. You can play the blame game if you want to but we need to get on the ground and work. We can’t waste even a single minute now. It’s now or never, said Mr. Singh on the current shortage and the war over oxygen among states.
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 (Water, Sanitation 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 pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.
|Jammu And Kashmir|
|Dadra And Nagar Haveli|
|Andaman And Nicobar Islands|
Leaving No One Behind
Delhi’s Northwest District Launches 4-Day COVID Vaccination Drive For Transgender People
Activists say misinformation, lack of proper documents and digital divide are to be blamed for the low vaccination coverage in...
5.22 Per Cent Transgender Persons Vaccinated Till Now; Activists Say Misinformation, Lack Of Digital Knowledge Adding To Their Problems
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also requested states to organise separate mobile COVID-19 vaccination centres or booths...
Discrimination And Barriers Make Access To Quality Healthcare A Challenge For Many Transgenders
Transgender individuals have specific healthcare needs; however, they face multiple obstacles to accessing quality health care ranging from social stigma...
Uttar Pradesh’s First Transgender-Only Toilet Built In Varanasi
According to an official at the municipal corporation of Varanasi, the operation and maintenance of the toilet complex has been...
Mental Health Explained: What Is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?
PTSD is an intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and reminders of the event: CDC, United States
How Can Parents Support Children Dealing With Mental Health Issues Like Anxiety And Depression
Remember, a change in a child’s behaviour like mood swings and angry outbursts is an indication of inner turmoil, said...
Upward Trend In Suicide Cases: How Can You Identify Red Signals In Time?
Studies show that suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-29 year old in India. What compels young adults...
Each COVID-19 Surge Poses A Risk For Healthcare Workers: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The surging Delta variant is heaping on fresh trauma as the United States and other nations begin to study Post-Traumatic...
Depression Can Be Classified As Serious Illness In Context Of COVID-19 Pandemic: Gujarat High Court
The Gujarat High Court set aside the cancellation of registration and admission of an engineering student by a government college...
U.N. Says World Likely To Miss Climate Targets Despite COVID Pause In Emissions
There is now a 40 per cent chance that the average global temperature in one of the next five years...
Make The Choices That Help Make A Difference, John Kerry, Special US Envoy On Climate Change Crisis
In an exclusive interview with NDTV, US climate envoy John Kerry talks about climate change emergency
Climate Change Biggest Global Challenge, India Committed To Combat It: Union Environment Minister
Speaking at the launch of Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue (CAFMD) under India-US Climate Clean Energy Agenda 2030, Union...
Rajasthani Artisan Creates Ganesh Idols From Environment-Friendly Materials
Unlike idols made out of synthetic materials which cause harm to water bodies after their immersion, eco-friendly idols that artist...