Sonu Sood, a name synonymous with constant help from the second the pandemic started. Since last year, he has not only helped stranded migrants reach home safely, but has also aided numerous other people beyond his capacity with medical support and education.
Furthermore, Barkha Dutt has been reporting on the pandemic and lockdown single-handedly for more than one hundred days now. From Ladakh to Kerala, she has travelled through 13 Indian states, clocking more than 23,000 kilometres. She decided to get in touch with Sonu to talk about the present crisis of hospital beds and oxygen in a recent interview for The Mojo Story.
Here are the key takeaways from the conversation.
1. Upon asking what kind of calls and request he has been receiving, he responded that he has been getting calls 24x7 with desperate voices. He says he feels clueless and getting a hospital bed for an individual is the happiest moment of his day.
2. When she asked him what is the most common request he gets, he says that 40% of requests are for oxygen, 40% are for hospital beds and the rest 20% is for remdesivir.
3. Upon being asked how he has built his network, he said that his network is expanding every single minute. From medicines and ward boys to oxygen concentrators, he has been in touch with every department.
4. He also says that he has created a group on Telegram that is close to 1 lac people where people help each other. There are about 60 IT people who are downloading and verifying the requests from the group.
I believe people in Delhi and UP, the whole city is either in the hospital or waiting outside the hospital. No one knows who is living in the houses.
- Sonu Sood
5. She highlights the sad fact that rather than giving kadha prasad, we are handling out oxygen in gurudwara's langars.
6. He says that the biggest challenge he faces while arranging oxygen cylinders is that people never return the cylinders. He says that he’s planning to gift 400-500 oxygen cylinders to Delhi and UP.
My heart breaks when I see all that. I have been listening to all these people and when I see those visuals, I can imagine myself. Now, I sometimes thank god that they are no more. I imagine they would have been so helpless and running for them, you feel failed like a failed human if you are not able to get oxygen for your loved ones or a bed in the hospital for your loved ones. You fail as an individual, aapko lagta hain zindagi mein aapne kya kiya?
- Sonu Sood
7. When she asks him why he feels it’s a collective failure, he says that we have been hearing that we should build a better healthcare system since our childhood. We now realize it when the hundreds of innocent souls are gone.
From Sonipat and Patiala to Chandigarh and Karnal, I’m trying to get everyone beds.
8. He says that he believes that government should make a law that any child who has lost a parent, will get a free education. This will make them feel that someone is standing with them. He adds that there should be strict rules for everyone who lost someone in their family.
9. While holding back his tears, he says that he feels so helpless when a person is on a verge of dying because of oxygen.
“Logo ke paas aaj cremation ke paise nahi hain.”
- Sonu Sood
10. He says that no matter how much better the situation gets or how much we help people, we have failed in this situation.
11. When she asked how people can help him, he said that everyone needs to come out to help even if you save just one life. If we don’t come out and help then the people in hospitals won’t ever come out.
Jo samay pe di gayi madad hoti hain, wohi madad hoti hain. Agar 6 mahine baad rules banenge uska koi faayeda nahi hain.
- Sonu Sood
12. He says that we have set an example of failure. From doctors to patients, everyone dies because there is no oxygen. We should now set an example for the world by building the biggest healthcare system.
13. Describing his mental state, he says that he’s very disturbed right now. He barely sleeps or sees his kids now.
14. He also shared the link to his community where people can join and save lives.
Agar koi oxygen na hone se marta hain toh natural death nahi, murder hain. It’s a failure of the institutions of the country.
- Barkha Dutt
The short clip shared by Barkha on her Twitter has garnered 9.4K likes already.
"We have all failed. No Citizen deserves this. This is one giant failure"- @sonusood choking on tears on @themojostory on handling 24X7 calls for Oxygen. "Kis Dish Mein Rahe Rahein Hain". Full conversation here: https://t.co/1j3yi0q7oG pic.twitter.com/mnlC4BbpZV— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) May 3, 2021
You can watch the entire clip on YouTube here:
We would like to thank both of these brave heroes for keeping our faith alive in humanity. With their fearless and constant help, we see a ray of sunshine.