Maharashtra Doctor Couple Collects Unused Medicines To Help COVID-19 Patients Who Can’t Afford Them!

As the second wave of the pandemic continues to disrupt the nation, more than half the population struggles to avail of basic medical facilities even.

We have reached a point where it doesn’t matter how rich you are; the shortage of medical equipment and facilities are beating all.

In such a case, think about those who can’t really afford to pay grands for common flu and fever tablets.

To tackle this issue, a doctor couple from Maharashtra started an initiative, ‘Meds For More’ which aims to help people by providing them medicines that were not used by other COVID-19 patients.

“We started this initiative 10 days ago. We collect medicines from housing societies and provide them to those who can not afford them,” says Dr Marcus Ranney, who is heading this initiative along with his wife, Dr Raina.

“The idea came when one of the family members of our staff got infected from COVID-19, and they needed medication. As you know the medicines can be expensive. At that time, there were a few people who had recovered from COVID-19, so we decided to take their medicines and donate them,” Dr Raina said.

After that initiative, the couple decided to take this forward. They took help from some people residing in their neighbourhood and set up a team. “We started this mission with the objective of helping those who can not go out to buy medicines or anyone who can’t afford the COVID-19 medicines,” the couple added.

20 kilograms of unused COVID-19 medicines in just 10 days

Within the 10 days of this initiative, the team managed to collect more than 20 kilograms of unused and leftover medicines. These will further be distributed to primary health care centres in rural districts across the country, which can use them to treat underprivileged COVID-19 patients. 

“We have now 100 buildings that are sending medicines to us. We are a team of eight people and, of course, the volunteers in different buildings. Last week, we collected 20 kilograms of medicines, which have been packaged and given to our NGO partners,” Dr Ranney shared.

‘Meds For More’ is a citizen initiative that collects all kinds of medicines and donates them for the treatment of underprivileged patients. Besides this, they also collect basic equipment like pulse oximeters and thermometers.

People who are interested in supporting ‘Meds For More’ can reach out to the couple via social media or email: medsformoreindia@gmail.com.

Amid the pandemic, NextBigWhat is featuring and honouring every single effort made by individuals, groups and organizations to acknowledge their fight against COVID-19.

If you know someone who’s bringing a change in people’s lives, share their story with us. Let the world know them! #CovidWarriors

Despite Being On Oxygen Himself, Srinagar’s 50YO Asthma Patient Supplies Oxygen Cylinders To COVID-19 Patients!

As the nation battles with rising COVID-19 cases, shortage of medicine, oxygen cylinders and hospital beds, people from every corner of the country, in fact, the world, are coming forward to offer help and do their bit.

One such selfless man from Srinagar came into the limelight who has been delivering oxygen cylinders to hospitals and needy COVID-19 patients despite being on oxygen himself for the past three years.

Manzoor Ahmad is an asthma patient and carries an oxygen cylinder with him 24×7 as it helps him breathe better. The 50YO driver from Srinagar uses a small truck to transport oxygen cylinders to COVID-19 patients and hospitals.

ALSO READ: How 500+ teachers in Mumbai are connecting COVID-19 patients to healthcare facilities!

“I know the importance of oxygen as I have been on oxygen support for the last three years after suffering an asthma attack. I have been driving this vehicle and ensuring my family’s well being. But today, it is even more important to carry these cylinders,” Ahmad says.

Ahmad, who is the only earning member of his family and a father of three, is at higher risk of contracting any deadly infection, let alone COVID-19, as his lungs are weak. And probably this is what drives him to work and serve people every day as he knows the true value of ‘oxygen’.

“I have three children: two sons and a daughter. My elder son is a school dropout while my younger son and daughter are studying, and I want to make them good human beings. This work today is not only giving me a livelihood but also a great amount of satisfaction,” Ahmad further adds. “During this crisis, even if my contribution is able to save even a single life, that would be a great achievement for me.”

ALSO READ: J&K teacher turns into a health worker; record COVID-19 sample collection to curb the cases!

People like Manzoor Ahmad makes us believe that there is much more beyond the struggles we face every day and that one should not give up, no matter what, as this too shall pass soon!

Amid the pandemic, NextBigWhat is featuring and honouring every single effort made by individuals, groups and organizations to acknowledge their fight against COVID-19.

If you know someone who’s bringing a change in people’s lives, share their story with us. Let the world know them! #CovidWarriors

ALSO READ: Ghaziabad family delivers home-cooked meals to COVID-19 affected families every day for free! 

J&K Teacher Turns Into A Health Worker; Record COVID-19 Sample Collection To Curb The Cases!

When a Kashmir based teacher tested positive for COVID-19, reality hit her hard. And that’s when she decided to work as a health counsellor and help the localities.

Babli Rani, originally from Bhaderwah, Doda, has been working in Kashmir for 11 years as a teacher. Things were fine until the virus caught her — and when she tested negative, she signed up as a health counsellor to do her bit.

“Since schools were shut due to COVID-19 and reduced activity, I decided to work as a health functionary days after I had turned negative,” Babli said in an interview. “I was moving from one village to another in Wakoora block carrying out samples of people who contracted the virus. I was tasked to take samples, maintain data of COVID-19 positives and conduct their contact tracing. I have been doing this for months.”

Rani has been posted in Ganderbal for 11 years and has worked in several schools — her last posting was in a government school at Rabitar, after which she started working as a health worker. She was trained in COVID-19 sampling collection, data processing and other basics of a surveillance team member.

ALSO READ: How 500+ teachers in Mumbai are connecting COVID-19 patients to healthcare facilities!

As of this writing, she has collected over 2000 RAT and RT-PCR samples and has become an expert in sample collection.

The idea to take up this role was to ensure that none of the COVID-19 patients transmits the virus to another person, and the district doesn’t witness any rise in cases.

“During one sampling session, I tested a nine-month baby, and on another trip, 40 villagers were found infected with the virus. The officials were pleased with my work and said without these findings; the infections would have spread deeper into the community,” she added.

Discovering herself while working as a health worker

Her typical morning starts with beginning the awareness drive against the disease. Her village trip includes some counselling session where she shares all COVID-19 advisories and measures that can help in limiting the virus spread.

This job, Rani believes, helped her in discovering the social worker inside her. She enjoys her job as working for common people gives her peace of mind. It’s been a few months since she started working, and she has proved herself as an important member of the surveillance team.

“I was home once during the last winter vacation but did not get time to see the kids,” Rani, mother of two,  shared how her work has restricted her from visiting her family.

ALSO READ: Chennai Welfare Group converts autos into ambulances, saves 160+ lives!

However, prevention and precaution are the only ways to protect her loved ones, she says and is happy with helping people around her.

“I am at peace these days,” Rani ends with a high spirit, and she doesn’t intend to stop her work until the pandemic ends!

Amid the pandemic, NextBigWhat is featuring and honouring every single effort made by individuals, groups and organizations to acknowledge their fight against COVID-19.

If you know someone who’s bringing a change in people’s lives, share their story with us. Let the world know them! #CovidWarriors

ALSO READ: Ghaziabad family delivers home-cooked meals to COVID-19 affected families every day for free!

Chennai Welfare Group Converts Autos Into Ambulances, Saves 160+ Lives!

Crisis teaches you a lot, they say!

With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing every day, a social welfare group in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, came up with a very interesting and innovative plan to fight the pandemic.

The community-based organization of North Chennai converted several autos into ambulances with oxygen cylinders installed in it. The idea was to help the COVID-19 patients who are critical and in dire need of oxygen and hospital beds.

As of this writing, the NGO, Chennai Welfare Group, managed to save 160+ patients’ lives with this initiative.

The group involves some engineering graduates and local residents who decided to work together to fight the surge in COVID-19 cases. 

[WATCH: COVID-19 Vaccinations for 18+: All you need to know!]

To ensure that no lives are lost or no patient struggle much, the volunteers also trained themselves in basic first aid to assist others. Critical patients are taken to the nearest COVID-19 care centre in the autos and are provided oxygen in the way.

In the wake of the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, several auto drivers from different parts of the country have converted their autos into ambulances. Besides, many private car owners decided to utilize their vehicles to help COVID-19 patients for free.

In a country where the most basic medicine is even black marketed today, some people bring a ray of hope and make us believe that this too shall pass!

Amid the pandemic, NextBigWhat is featuring and honouring every single effort made by individuals, groups and organizations to acknowledge their fight against COVID-19.

If you know someone who’s bringing a change in people’s lives, share their story with us. Let the world know them! #CovidWarriors

This Ghaziabad Family Delivers Home-cooked Meals To COVID-19 Affected Families Every Day For Free!

“I have been approached by several individuals and NGOs for help lately, but I sincerely denied them. I am trying my best to help people within my capability,” says Narendra Singh, a Ghaziabad based resident who has been helping COVID-19 affected families by offering them home-cooked meals for free.

It all started when Singh realized how some of his friends suffered when their sisters/ mothers/ wives tested positive. “They weren’t used to manage the home, unlike the ladies. And that striked me. What if we could help them with the food part. At least they won’t need to worry about cooking,” he shares!

However, it wasn’t easy initially. While some couldn’t ask him for him because he was a stranger, others weren’t sure how costly the food would be. And that’s when Singh started circulating WhatsApp messages on his society and friends’ groups; confirming that he would be serving home-cooked meals to every COVID-19 affected family for free!

It’s been 20 days since Narendra Singh and his wife, Dr Manpreet Kaur, started this initiative. Currently, they deliver food to almost four to five families, each consisting of 5-6 members every day. The meal consists of protein-rich dishes paneer, beans, nutella, peas and grams.

Jo khate hain, wahi khilate hain,” says Dr Kaur, who is a dentist by profession and has been making 50+ chapattis and more than 500gm rice every day. It’s not easy to manage home, a 4 YO kid, along with taking care of patients’ meals, but this is the need of the hour, she says. “We’ve been seeing people struggling for basics. While we also help people in getting verified information about plasma, oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, ventilators, etc., helping them with their meals is something we thought of doing by ourselves,” Dr Kaur continued.

“We’ve always been spiritual and believed in working for humanity. Generally, we used to donate to Gurudwaras in the form of ‘Dasvandh’, but this time we thought of using this money and resources for COVID-19 affected families. Although we are not doing it on a large scale, I am happy with the feedback and the blessings we receive,” says Singh, who lives in Indirapuram.

Narendra and Manpreet belong to a nuclear family. Their daughter is still very young, and hence they never really thought of expanding this initiative. Neither they considered taking any form of donation. But every time someone offers them help, they encourage them to donate only in the form of raw materials or staples and not money. “What we are doing is for humanity and for the almighty; can we really justify it with money,” he smiles. 

Free Home-Cooked Meals

Providing quality with quantity

Currently, Singh and his wife only want to maintain the quality of food and the amount they are serving. They generally prepare and pack the food in containers and send it via delivery services like Swiggy Genie.

Every time they send food to any family, they form a relationship with them, which cannot be defined. “I feel they become my family and their health and recovery start mattering to me as much as it matters to their loved ones,” Narendra says.

[Watch: Team Hope offering free food amid #COVID19​ in Varanasi]

Over time, he is also preparing a database of all the patients he has been serving food to. The idea is to keep a record of people who may wish to donate plasma after they recover. Besides this, Singh also works with some local Gurudwaras and communities to help people. 

Singh believes that this nature of helping others and going beyond one’s comfort zone is in the culture of Sikhism. “Langar is a basic and very old & vital part of our culture. While ours is a home-kitchen based langar, a lot many people are doing it on a societal level. This is a time which demands us to work for others and not for ourselves,” he says.

Singh doesn’t know for how long or how many people he would be able to help, but he doesn’t intend to stop until then. “Nanak Naam Chardi Kala, teraa bhane sarbat da bhala,” he ends with this.

If anyone wants to get in touch with Narendra Singh, s/he can contact him via +91 99903 14742. Currently, they serve food to people residing only within the 10km radius of their home. This ensures that the food remains fresh and hot by the time they receive it.

Amid the pandemic, NextBigWhat is featuring and honouring every single effort made by individuals, groups and organizations to acknowledge their fight against COVID-19.

If you know someone who’s bringing a change in people’s lives, share their story with us. Let the world know them! #CovidWarriors

How 500+ Teachers In Mumbai Are Connecting COVID-19 Patients To Healthcare Facilities!

It is like any other day for Vishranti Jadhav. After finishing her daily chores, she heads for work. She is a teacher at Ketkipada BMC School in Borivali. COVID-19 has completely changed her life and the way she used to teach kids.

But what remained the same was the josh, the temperament and the dedication to influence people’s lives in a better way.

Hence she, along with 500+ other civic teachers, joined hands together to fight the deadly coronavirus in her own way!

“I cannot find a bed for a patient!”
“Help us locate an ICU bed!”
“Where can I get the vaccine near my residence?”

These are some of the queries the 45-year-old comes across nowadays. And as mentioned, she is not the only one.

As of this writing, 547 civic school teachers across the city are working at BMC’s war rooms to assist COVID-19 patients!!

As the summer vacation has already started for schools, all the civic teachers have been assigned to COVID-19 related work.

These teachers are working under the guidance of medical and administrative professionals and are generally the first point of contact between COVID-19 patients and the healthcare system. And they are responsible for everything — from managing angry and hopeless citizens to pacifying struggling patients and their families to responding to calls filled with gratitude — they are responsible for acknowledging every single call.

“Some of the calls really shook us, especially when the callers would almost beg to locate an ICU bed for their loved ones, and we were helpless. We were noting down all requirements and connecting them with vacant places wherever possible,” said Priya Sawant, another civic teacher from Ashokwan Municipal School in Borivali.

© Provided by Scroll

“The wife tested positive, but since she had absolutely no symptoms, the doctor asked the couple to remain home-quarantined. The woman was really stressed after knowing all other things happening around, and her husband asked me to talk to her to calm her down. I was tense thinking if I would really help her calm down, but after speaking to her, she felt relieved,” said Vishranti Jadhav, who did not fail to provide mental support to her callers.

© Provided by Scroll

“This was a completely different experience where we felt a great sense of social connection as we helped callers meet their needs or resolve their Covid-19 disease or vaccine-related queries!”

said another teacher, Krishna Yadav.

“They have the experience of handling a class full of children from different psychological backgrounds, and it has really helped at COVID-19 war rooms. A total of 547 teachers are appointed to do this work,” said BMC’s education officer, Mahesh Palkar.

In a city that is one of the most active hotspots of COVID-19, several teachers are working every single day without expecting anything in return. They are posted in the war rooms for a 15-day duty chart on rotation for almost four to five hours daily.

There is something called ‘going beyond work calls’, and these teachers are going beyond their assigned roles every day. In a time when people are struggling for a hospital bed and world’s most common chemical, oxygen, even an “everything will be fine” sounds nothing less than a bright light!

A warm tribute and salute to these people who we do not really think about in our daily lives — every bit matters — and every story deserves to be heard! #CovidWarriors

ALSO READ: Meet the samaritans providing meals to needy and COVID-19 patients for free!

Meet The Samaritans Providing Meals To Needy And COVID-19 Patients For Free!

What adds to the agony of COVID-19 is the level of helplessness a person experiences — with no resources available around, people suffer to the extent that is unexplainable.

Be it a COVID-19 patient or a frontline worker, or someone low on finances — the unavailability of resources, particularly food, is one of the major sufferings right now.

Several people have come forward to fight this and are offering free meals to needy and COVID-19 patients in their locations. Here are some of those good samaritans NextBigWhat salutes to!

‘Food for Kashmir’ by ‘Tiffin Aaw’

When Rayees Ahmad, co-founder, ‘Tiffin Aaw’, started getting calls from people outside Kashmir requesting to deliver food to their COVID-19 positive parents, the food entrepreneur decided to start this campaign, ‘Food for Kashmir’.

These are some of the less known heroes who are fighting the pandemic and offering free meals to needy and COVID-19 patients!
© Provided by DNA

“We are a small startup, and it’s just been a year. People are calling us; we are giving food to people without asking for money. And among those people only, some get so emotional and tell us that they want to sponsor other COVID-19 positive family’s or patients,” said the co-founder, Nida Rayees.

The husband-wife duo delivers home-cooked meals to needy and COVID-19 patients, their families, and COVID-19 warriors for free. They have decided to keep this initiative going till the pandemic is not over.

Nisha Bhagat — The superwoman from Ranchi

This tribal woman running her own cafe in Ranchi decided to convert her business into service for the families suffering from COVID-19. She offers breakfast and meals to needy and COVID-19 patients for free.

These are some of the less known heroes who are fighting the pandemic and offering free meals to needy and COVID-19 patients!
© Provided by DNA

It all began when Nisha got a call from a woman asking for home-cooked and deliverable ‘khichdi’. “She was ready to pay whatever…I was a bit surprised because people generally don’t order that simple food over the phone. Then the caller told me the sad part; everyone in that family had turned COVID-19 positive, and none of them was physically fit enough to cook food. I took the order and sent it out. That set me thinking why not provide free food to such families,” she said.

Nisha takes extra care of nutrition and cleanliness while preparing the meals and ensures that no one is denied food by her.

‘Covid Meals For India’ by Chef Saransh Goila

When the Goila Butter Chicken (GBC) founder received a DM on Instagram to help a girl with organising her meals who had lost her immediate family to Covid-19, it struck him hard.

These are some of the less known heroes who are fighting the pandemic and offering free meals to needy and COVID-19 patients!
© Provided by Forbes India

“It’s heartbreaking. When you are stressed about finding hospital beds or oxygen for your near and dear ones or even grieving deaths in families, the last thing you want to worry about is what am I going to eat. There was a big gap here, and I knew I had to step in,” said Goila.

Along with the co-founder of Fastor, Karan Sood, he launched covidmealsforindia.com on April 25, 2021, to ensure that none of the affected or needy families sleeps empty stomach. The portal connects COVID-19 affected individuals with those willing to cook a meal for them for either free or nominal costs.

‘Feed The Poor’ by D Surender Babu

“We often neglect the people who live in rural areas during the time of crisis. The fact is that they are the ones who are most affected. People affected by coronavirus in villages do not have enough financial support, so I decided to provide them with minimal facilities. People can check out feedthepoor.in and then fill in their details as to what they want to donate,” said the Hyderabad man.

These are some of the less known heroes who are fighting the pandemic and offering free meals to needy and COVID-19 patients!
© Provided by Indiatimes

He runs the web portal, ‘Feed The Poor’, to aid people in the rural areas by providing food and medicines. He and his team often rely on donations to fight the crisis.

The superwomen of Patna

Anupama Singh and her sister Neelima, along with their mother, Kundan Devi, are becoming the messiahs for those infected in the city. While Anupama and her mother cook at home, sister Neelima ensures safe delivery to COVID-19 affected families. 

These are some of the less known heroes who are fighting the pandemic and offering free meals to needy and COVID-19 patients!
© Provided by TNIE

“Recently, a member of my family tested positive for the virus. We realised how it is difficult for virus-infected people to get meals while living in self-isolation. Hence, we started serving free food packets to the homes of coronavirus-infected patients living in self-isolation as a service to humanity at our own cost,” said Anupama. “We have dedicated all our savings, which were kept for marriage, anniversaries, birthday functions, purchasing clothes and doing other household work for the next one year, to continue serving free foods to the COVID-19 patients.”

Yes, the fight is long, but people are fighting — and ensuring that no one faces it alone. NextBigWhat salutes these less known heroes! #CovidWarriors

How are you doing your bit? Share with us, and we will share it with the world — because every story deserves to be heard!

ALSO Read: Triplet siblings raises over $280,000 for medical supplies in India!

#COVID19: Several States Declare Journalists As Frontline Workers For Vaccination Drive!

The role of media, which is considered as the fourth pillar of Indian democracy, has finally been acknowledged by several state governments.

Apart from the healthcare unit and departments like police, sanitation and hygiene, several state governments have decided to declare media personnel and journalists as frontline COVID-19 warriors, citing their services to the nation.

Like the other frontline workers of the nation, Indian media is also playing a major role in fighting the COVID-19 crisis by providing real-time vital information and details related to the pandemic, making people aware and updated.

By declaring journalists as frontline workers, it will also make them eligible for getting priority in the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

These are the states that declared their media personnel as frontline workers:

Bihar

The Bihar government declared all journalists accredited with the Information and Public Relations Department as frontline workers. 

“Corona vaccine will be given to journalists on a priority basis in the state. Journalists have been performing their roles in a good way during the pandemic. They are making people aware of the dangers of corona infection,” CM Nitish Kumar tweeted.

Odisha

Odisha CM, Naveen Patnaik, declared journalists as COVID-19 warriors and announced an ex gratia of INR 15 lakh for the next of kin of journalists who lose their lives to COVID-19 while on duty.

“As many as 6,944 working journalists of the state have been covered under the Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana. They are getting health insurance cover of INR 2 lakh each,” the state government said in a statement.

Uttarakhand

“Since the time the lockdown started and the country eased it gradually, even officers and employees of the information department have been constantly involved in communication and spreading awareness about correct information in tasks related to fighting COVID-19,” the Uttarakhand government said in a statement and declared its journalists as frontline workers.

Madhya Pradesh

“Therefore, we have decided to declare all accredited journalists as frontline workers in Madhya Pradesh. They will be taken care of,” CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a statement while declaring all journalists as frontline workers.

Punjab

The state government of Punjab said that all accredited and yellow card journalists in Punjab would be considered as COVID-19 frontline warriors.

Uttar Pradesh

CM Yogi Adityanath led government announced that all the media professionals and their families would be given priority in the vaccination drive.

Apart from these states, West Bengal’ CM Mamata Banerjee and Tamil Nadu’s next CM MK Stalin have also declared all the media personnel as the COVID-19 frontline workers in their respective states. 

Though I am writing this from home, there is a sense of relief and happiness for those journalists and media workers who have been on the frontline, reporting since day one. Thank you for your service to the nation!

ALSO Read: Triplet siblings raises over $280,000 for medical supplies in India!

Triplet Siblings Raises Over $280,000 For Medical Supplies In India!

With the COVID-19 cases rising every day, we are seeing more and more people coming forward to help each other — to assist and offer help in every possible way. From children to senior citizens, everyone is doing their part — to ensure that we win this fight soon.

Recently, three Indian-American siblings joined this fight. Founders of a non for profit organisation, Little Mentors, the trio managed to raise more than USD280,000 to send essentials and oxygen supplies for COVID-19 patients in India.

The 15-year-old triplet siblings reached out to their families, school friends and relatives to raise funds. The amount raised will be used for arranging essential equipment like oxygen concentrators and ventilators for the hospitals and needy patients in and around Delhi.

“Our only request is to return it (the equipment) when it’s not further needed as the next patient can use it. This is important as supply of these equipment is very scarce, and the affected population is enormous,” said the trio, Karina, Gia and Armaan. “We need everybody’s help in this as such an enormous task can only be accomplished by teamwork. We are very fortunate to work with an excellent team of physicians, both in the US and India. Although we hope and pray that this second wave of the coronavirus will go away soon, we are getting ready for the worst and asking people to be careful and help each other in this major crisis.”

The Gupta triplets have also been applauded earlier in December 2020 for creating an app, Apollo, which assists young entrepreneurs on a digital platform. Their non for profit organisation, Little Mentors, was founded more than two years ago.

“When you create any venture, be it a nonprofit, a for-profit business or something else, you have to make sure there is a base,” said Armaan.”Our network is children and students, but we wanted to have adults and advisors also on board to guide and help us.”

They are also planning to maintain a database of the people so that they can direct the supply properly. Besides, they plan to open distribution centres in major cities.

In a time when many people are selfishly stocking up essential medical equipment at their home, without thinking how the needy ones would manage — samaritans like these siblings are proving that there is still hope and light left between us! Kudos to these super teens!

ALSO READ: Re-imagining networking in post-covid world: Force yourself out of echo chambers