Meerut (Uttar Pradesh) [India], May 22 (ANI): During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, when hospitals were overwhelmed with admission requests and markets had a shortage of oxygen and necessary medicines, three teenagers from Uttar Pradesh started an initiative to facilitate verfied social media leads for those in distress.
Class 12 students, Avani Singh and Rishay Gupta from Meerut, and Saharanpur's Ansh Garg are friends who wanted to help people scrambling to save the lives of their loved ones. They launched two WhatsApp groups-- 'Covid-19 Sahayta Kendra' and 'Sahayta Kendra Volunteers' to connect volunteers and help seekers about the availability of hospital beds and verified sources for oxygen supplies.
"We spread the word on a personal level. Later, those who were helped also joined to help others. We've 200 volunteers," said Rishya Gupta.
Avani Singh said that people from different cities are connected with them and help in spreading accurate information on time.
"We can't come out of our houses but had the advantage of technology. We connected people from different cities. With their help, we circulated verified information. We have two groups--one where we take requests and the other for volunteers who verify leads and provide info within 10 minutes. Volunteers share the leads and varified them, and then the varified information is forwarded to the other group where people put up their queries," she said.
The teens said that they have spread their network across 25 districts across the country and helped in saving more than 500 lives.
The second and more severe wave of COVID-19 had hit India claiming thousands of innocent lives. On May 7, with 4,14,188 new COVID-19 cases registered in a day, India reported its highest single-day spike since the pandemic began last year. On May 17, India's daily spike of coronavirus cases remained below the 3 lakh mark for the first time after 26 days.
Since then, the daily new cases in the country have been hovering below the 3-lakh mark. (ANI)