The Covid-19 pandemic has put a severe strain on India's healthcare system. But a few good Samaritans have stepped up to help those in need. Like 31-year-old Shahnawaz Shaikh.
Shahnawaz Shaikh sold his SUV Ford Endeavour, in order to buy oxygen cylinders and give them for free to families of Covid-19 patients. As per reports, since June 5, he has sold oxygen cylinders to more than 250 families.
Shaikh, who was already using the SUV as a makeshift ambulance during the lockdown, had bought the car in 2011 and paid extra for a customized music system and a premium number plate that read 007.
However, on May 28, his business partner's pregnant wife died of Covid-19, in an autorickshaw, after being turned away from five hospitals. He shared information about this unfortunate incident with his friends, who were doctors, who told him that had she received oxygen on time, she could have been saved.
Mumbai: Two friends Shahnawaz Hussain & Abbas Rizvi are providing free oxygen cylinders to patients all over Mumbai amid #COVID19. Shahnawaz says, "Till now we have provided around 250-300 cylinders. Anybody can take cylinders from us if they have a prescription from a doctor". pic.twitter.com/hlNa1vYnf3— ANI (@ANI) June 23, 2020
That was when, after considerable research, Shaikh directly got in touch with a manufacturer and decided to sell his car, in order to buy oxygen cylinders. He, and his friends, have shared his contact on social media to help people in need.
The only two requirements are that a person/family in need share the doctor's recommendation, and collect the cylinders on their own. In rare cases, Shaikh, with a group of volunteers, have also transported the cylinders after taking proper precautions.
As per Mumbai Mirror, for Shaikh, it was not 'hard' to give up his prized possession, when someone's life was at stake.
“It’s not hard to give up one car to save someone’s life. Even if I’m blessed by just one grateful family for this deed, I will be able to buy four such cars some day.
Actions like these are what keep alive our faith in humanity.