The second wave of Covid in India has left us helpless. But there are a few organisations and people who are working day and night to provide aid for those in need.
One such organisation at the forefront of this fight against the virus is Hemkunt Foundation. This Gurugram-based organisation began in 2003 and helped thousands of people by providing them with oxygen tanks during the pandemic.
From holding oxygen cylinder drives to providing food and basic amenities to those who have lost their livelihoods to the pandemic, the NGO, despite its limited resources sprung into action. They began small but have immensely grown in the pandemic, trying their best to meet the demands of those in need.
In an interview with Humans of Bombay, Harteerath Singh, whose family runs the NGO spoke about the growing demand for oxygen cylinders and how it breaks his heart that he can't help everyone who comes to him.
During lockdown 2020, we’d have 100 requests a month for oxygen cylinders. This year, that number is 15000 a day! But we only have the capacity to cater to 4000 requests; baaki logo ko dil pe patthar rakh ke mana karna padta hain.
He shared heartbreaking incidents of watching people die in front of him, and patients being asked to leave hospitals because they don't have a fighting chance anymore. And though hospitals shunned away patients, the foundation has been taking them in and providing them with aid.
At times, when patients get critical, hospitals leave them at our doorstep–they tell us, ‘Ab yeh nahi bachega, we’re giving the bed to somebody who has a chance.’ Even though the patient's chances are bleak, how can someone leave them to die? I witness 3-5 deaths daily; I feel dead from within when I see families frenziedly making 100 calls to the crematorium.
From taking matters in their own hands and procuring oxygen from outside India, to setting up their own plant, the Hemkunt Foundation is no longer relying on the government to save lives.
Now, I’m considering constructing a PSA plant–it’s a factory that can generate 400 litres of oxygen per hour. And this is just the beginning; we’re yet to reach the peak. We need to act now!
Despite getting Covid twice, Harteerath finds himself bravely returning to the scene again, days after recovery.
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You can donate to the Hemkunt Foundation here.