According to the official data, India has recorded a total of 3,04,14,938 confirmed cases. From billionaires to the underprivileged, everyone across the world has faced the wrath of this deadly disease.
During the deadly second wave of the pandemic, the entire nation saw an extraordinary demand for medical oxygen.
On May 1st, Seetha Devi lost her coronavirus-stricken mother due to an oxygen shortage.
Just a day prior, she rushed her 65-year-old mother to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai at around 8 pm after her oxygen levels dropped dangerously. However, even after waiting for 12 hours, her mother couldn't get an oxygen bed.
On May 1st, she was moved and admitted to Government Stanley Hospital but lost her battle against the deadly disease.
We were waiting for 12 hours to get an oxygen bed for my mother. We were moving her from ambulance to ambulance as oxygen level was much low in the vehicles.
- Seetha Devi
Knowing her mother died due to a shortage of oxygen, she decided to help the patients who require oxygen support by starting an NGO.
For her NGO, Street Vision Charitable Trust, she arranged an auto-rickshaw and fixed an oxygen cylinder along with a flow-meter in it. Since May 5th, her 'oxygen auto' stays parked in front of the same hospital from 8 am to 8 pm.
Anyone who needs oxygen assistance is brought to her auto where someone from the medical staff helps the patient for free. Along with two other volunteers, Mohanraj and Sarath Kumat, she has been providing oxygen to COVID-19 patients.
Every single day, a minimum of 20 patients receive oxygen support from her auto-rickshaw. She spends a minimum amount of ₹1,000 on her auto and an additional ₹250 on an oxygen mask which she changes for every patient.
We saved more than three hundred patients gasping for breath that time, no questions were asked, and no money was received.
- Seetha Devi
She says that she is determined to continue her hard work until the COVID-19 cases stabilise in Chennai.
Indeed a COVID-19 hero!