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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

God’s Own Hope: Meet These Covid-19 Warriors

India recorded nearly two lakh covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, and who knows how far the numbers would go in future!

But this ain’t gonna stop so soon!! 

And while people are bucking up against this deadly virus who’s reproducing new mutants every other day, they are forgetting how privileged and able they are to find so many alternatives and options to survive.

Think about those who are fighting every day to make their ends meet — from daily wage labourers to low-paying workers, more than half the country doesn’t have enough to eat every day!

Fortunately, we are blessed with some good samaritans who did not think twice and went out of their way to help these less fortunate beings and proved that you don’t need to be a trust or a foundation or Sonu Sood to help people. All you need to have is that ‘self awareness’ and a zeal to bring a difference.

Here is a quick random compilation of some of those wonderful souls who I bet would also leave a smile on your face. 

Lalit Meena

Jaipur-based Lalit was stuck in Delhi when the lockdown happened. Though he has always been helping people, he knew that the lockdown was going to be cruel. He pooled up all his savings, which by the way he saved from his freelance work, got some financial help from families/ friends and started distributing cooked food during the entire lockdown.

He eventually helped more than eight lakh people and managed to continue until he got symptoms. Even when he was quarantined, he was constantly on the phone — assisting the needy ones in every possible way.

A UPSC aspirant, Lalit never dreamed of anything else but serving society. He believes in giving back without expecting anything in return.

Ramu Dosapati

When Hyderabad-based Ramu saw a watchman, who earns hardly INR 5-6k monthly, helping migrant workers during the first phase of lockdown, it hit him hard!

He sold some of his lands, pooled money from his savings and PF and set up a Rice ATM. Since cooking was not really feasible, he decided to donate dry rations and other essential commodities which could help a family sustain for at least four to five days.

He reached more than 20,000 families so far and is still reaching out to as many needy families as he can. “I don’t intend to stop until we feed every hungry soul out there,” is what he says!

Manisha Krishnasamy

Tamil Nadu based Manisha Krishnasamy has been serving people much before the lockdown, but the pandemic made her realize what worth her acts were carrying around.

From rehabilitating the homeless to rescuing beggars, drug addicts, destitute and those afflicted with terrible diseases, Manisha never stopped even for a day. She believes that despite the financial or economic status, every human deserves a chance to live life well — and have the basics at least.

“We collect the required data on their current status and histories and chalk out a pragmatic plan to rehabilitate them as per their wishes and needs. If they are old, we admit them to home care for senior citizens. If they are intellectually disabled, we help them get admitted to a hospital for treatment. If they have a family and wish to rejoin them, we help them there as well. We do the same if they want a job. We categorize abandoned people and admit them into various types of homes, but only with prior permission from the police,” Manisha shared.

Neha Chawla

Neha was in Jamshedpur when the lockdown happened. Like everyone, she was also understanding the seriousness and severity of the situation. 

Though a lot of NGOs, trusts and philanthropists were coming out to help people, small and local NGOs and communities were struggling to help. When Neha encountered one such NGO, she came up with the idea of launching NGOStory — to help them share their stories, talk about their initiatives and fundraising challenges.

So far, she has collaborated with more than 200 NGOs and aims to reach out to 1000+ in the next two years. She is also on a mission to empower 100,000 underprivileged children and youth through her one-of-a-kind education initiative, ‘TechJr’. Knowing that she is able to make a difference in every possible way makes her content!

Lynette D’Souza

When the Borivali-based wildlife rescuer started living in her hometown, Palghar, during the 2020 lockdown, she also started supporting the local daily wage workers. She took special permission from the Superintendent of Police to feed the strays and started delivering food kits to the needy ones. The food kit included rice, dal, oil and basic cooking spices.

Vineet Saraiwala

It would not be wrong to say that the middle class and people with different abilities suffered a lot. While the upper class were super sustained, the lower class managed to get enough help from society and government. But the people in between were stuck in jeopardy — where their ‘self respect’ didn’t allow them to ask for help from people, nor were they eligible for any government assistance.

So, when Jamshedpur-based Vineet Saraiwala realized this, he came up with the idea of launching Atypical, an online job portal that helps people with disabilities find jobs. The portal also helps PWDs in selling products made by them.

Being a partially visually impaired man, Vineet understands how hard it is for people with different abilities to come out and work — especially in the times of covid-19.

He has more than 60 volunteers from worldwide to help him, and his venture has helped many people so far.

Lokesh Sharan

This 61-year-old Bihar-based teacher started teaching underprivileged kids back in the 80s. And he never charged for more than INR 1 for every student. The ‘ek rupiya’ was also to develop accountability and a sense of responsibility in parents — so that they could be aware of what their kids were up to.

When the school he was teaching in was shut down permanently, he made the porch of his house into a makeshift classroom and continued educating children there.

When the entire world was locked down, he turned to smartphones and learned technology to keep teaching his kids without any hurdle. “I always carry my chalk, duster and pen. Even If I see a child studying along the road, I stop and try to help him in his studies,” the hero teacher says.

And the list doesn’t stop here. I and my laptop might get exhausted, but the list wouldn’t!!

I’m privileged enough to write this post from the comfort of my home, but not many people are. These are the faces that inspire me to wake up every day and reach out to at least one creature in need — oh, it could be a dog or a bird too!

Helping and impacting is not really limited to human beings. If you are changing even one life, write to us and share your experience. Inspire the world and let them know that there is much more than economy, business, funding and exits!! 🙂 #TowardsABetterWorld

Tamil Nadu’s Idli Amma To Get A House From Anand Mahindra!

2020 has shown us what not! But despite all the mishaps we faced, there were some rays of positivity and tiny bits of happiness.

Nonetheless, one thing that the pandemic told us is that no matter how much the economy goes up or down ― sectors like food, education and healthcare will never go haywire.

Yeah, the basic roti, kapda, makaan is gonna stay intact!

And the heroes who kept working during the lockdown, kept feeding the needy & poor ― despite the profit/ losses proved to us that it doesn’t take much to ‘help’ ― that one can find these heroes in the unlikeliest of places.

One such superhero, M. Kamalathal, aka ‘Idli Amma’, based out of Tamil Nadu, came into the spotlight when the businessman Anand Mahindra first shared her video online back in 2019.

The 80+-year-old has been making Idlis and selling them for just INR 1 per piece for over three decades now. The heart touching part is that she sold them at the same price, even during the coronavirus lockdown!

So, when the whole world was busy figuring out how to sustain and survive with the dipping economy, M. Kamalathal was busy serving idlis to those who had negligible to zero savings.

Her honest dedication to serving the poor and daily wage workers caught Anand Mahindra’s attention, and that’s when he decided to share her story with the world over Twitter.

“One of those humbling stories that make you wonder if everything you do is even a fraction as impactful as the work of people like Kamalathal. I notice she still uses a wood-burning stove. If anyone knows her, I’d be happy to ‘invest’ in her business & buy her an LPG fueled stove.”

tweeted the business tycoon

Despite working in a small space and on a single wood-burning stove, she sells more than 700 idlis every day along with the standard ‘sambar’ and ‘chutney’ accompaniments. Her idea of selling idlis at such a minimal price is to ensure that the daily wagers can afford to eat proper food without spending too much.

Post Mr Mahindra’s tweet, Bharat Gas Coimbatore issued an LPG connection in her name to ensure she can continue working in a smoke-free environment. The octogenarian also received rice and pulses from several people and businesses based out of Coimbatore.

Earlier this week, Anand Mahindra tweeted again, sharing that his real estate team have acquired land in the name of M. Kamalathal, and the construction has been kicked off.

“Only rarely does one get to play a small part in someone’s inspiring story, and I would like to thank Kamalathal, better known as Idli Amma, for letting us play a small part in hers. She will soon have her own house cum workspace from where she will cook & sell idlis. ,,, @MahindraRise team for understanding from Kamalathal how we can ‘invest’ in her business. She said her priority was a new home/workspace. Grateful to the Registration Office at Thondamuthur for helping us achieve our 1st milestone by speedily registering the land. The Mahindra @life_spaces team will soon start the construction as per Kamalathal’s requirement. Once again, thanks to BharatGas Coimbatore for providing her a continued supply of LPG,” Anand Mahindra tweeted.

Kamalathal’s current home is attached to her workspace, and she lives with her son Purushothaman.

To what we struggle every day, stories like these and people like M. Kamalathal keep our faith alive and hope high. And as the ‘paati’ says, “let people eat and go…!”

Stay tuned with NextBigWhat for more such inspiring and informative stories! #TowardsABetterWorld

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