Good samaritans lend a helping hand amid surge in COVID cases in Delhi

·4-min read

New Delhi, Apr 19 (PTI) Amid an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, some good samaritans across the Delhi-NCR region have either formed communities or taken it upon themselves to help out those in need for food, medicine, or simply transport. On April 17, Noida-based social activist Kiran Verma took to his Twitter handle and Facebook page to tell everyone that he owned 'a humble Maruti Suzuki Esteem in good condition and completely sanitised'.

However, that modest declaration of ownership wasn't the crux of his social media post.

'If any person, (willing to #DonateBlood or plasma) is finding it difficult to travel around NCR for blood donation. OR don't have access to good food, I promise to drop you safe (with a smiling face) at a blood bank or provide food at your doorstep,' said the founder of blood donation initiative 'Simply Blood'.

In the last two days, Verma told PTI, he has delivered food to a total of eight families and medicines to another six.

'Yesterday, I also took a person from Faridabad to Shalimar Bagh who wanted to donate plasma,' he added.

Before he reached his Noida home at midnight, where he lives isolated for the safety of his family, Verma had attended 600 calls since morning.

'The motivation is simply that these are very difficult times and I just wanted to encourage more people to come forward and show that we all are together in this tough time,' he said.

Verma is not the only one who is helping out people in need.

A group of young men formed 'Tav Prasad Sewa Society', a Delhi-based non profit, in July last year with the common aim of helping out those in need.

The team of seven has been offering free oxygen cylinders, oximeters and thermometers at seven centres across Delhi.

'We have bought oxygen cylinders for this purpose only. Earlier we thought of charging some security money from people who are completely strangers but seeing the condition and demand, we provide oxygen whenever and wherever we can,' said Raman Jit Singh of Tav Prasad Sewa Society.

The group has also been responding to the unrelenting demand for plasma donors by making a list of people who have been treated for COVID-19 a month earlier and are willing to donate plasma.

'So far we have helped 350 people who needed plasma for their treatment,' Singh claimed.

Another struggle which home quarantined COVID-19 patients have to overcome is that of food.

To overcome that, a group of over 150 home chefs have come together with design professional Anupriya Singh, or Anna, as she is known among her colleagues, to provide people with delectable home-cooked food at bare minimum charges.

'For some of the people working with me, this is their source of earning. However, we have made it mandatory that nobody charges more than Rs 150 per thali,' said Singh, the founder of House of Kitchens.

She added since the chefs have to manage their own deliveries and material, we don't take a single dime as commission.

The group of home chefs deliver in almost every corner of Delhi-NCR and the number has only been increasing by the hour.

'Ever since I posted this on my social media, the calls haven't stopped. I am receiving calls from the US and the UK too who are asking for their relatives in Delhi,' she added.

In another corner of South Delhi, Karnika Kohli continued to deliver her homemade food packets at no cost for the second day on the trot.

The growth manager at ScrollStack.com posted on her Twitter that any COVID patients in south Delhi could reach her through direct messages and she will deliver them food.

'Nothing fancy but I will make dal chawal and sabzi for you and get it to your place. You just take rest, quarantine and get well soon,' she said.

'Today I sent food for over 15 people. Some people, who reached out, need food from tomorrow or day after,' Kohli told PTI.

The national capital continues to reel under the massive surge in coronavirus cases as it recorded over 25,500 cases on Sunday, the highest single-day tally since the pandemic began.

The city has registered 1,46,934 cases in the last 10 days. The positivity rate has shot up from 7.79 per cent on April 9 to 29.74 per cent on April 18.

Meanwhile, hours after a weekend curfew ended on Monday morning, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown, from 10 pm on Monday till 5 am on April 26, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. PTI MAH TDS TDS