Youth groups going all out to help the needy

Youth groups going allout to help the needy

Several working professionals are giving donations, setting up healthcare units, and giving out food and medicines. Metrolife features their humanitarian work

Forty volunteers from 'Bengaluru Hudugaru' have been distributing essentials among the poor.

The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit India in late March and left the country gasping for breath. As the undersupply in urban India was fulfilled at the earliest, the plight of tribal and rural areas and the downtrodden fell on the blind spot of the administration. Some groups of working professionals from Bengaluru did the spadework for the underprivileged.

Covering the tribal belt

‘Corona Care Bengaluru’ set up Karnataka’s first Covid Care Unit (CCU) for the tribal community in the forest belt of BR Hills. It is a consortium of six NGOs — The Good Quest Foundation, Hope – Project Vision, BREADS, ECHO, AIFO, and Orione Seva. They have worked in the Covid pandemic for over a year. Working professionals from varying backgrounds like IT, placement officers, accounting, etc., work in the consortium and have provided over 62,000 meals to the needy in the second wave of the Covid pandemic.

Vinod Kumar, co-founder, The Good Quest Foundation, says, “With the help of Karmodaya and Caritas, we provided oxygen concentrators to the tribal community in BR Hills. Medical experts trained our people, and every service was provided under medical supervision.”

Health care is still a pricey affair to a community that lives in the remotest parts of the forests or on its boundaries. The CCU comes as a true relief to their distress. “One area where we lacked was creating awareness in remote areas. In the first wave, the rural and tribal areas faced economic distress, as people lost their jobs. People didn’t know what Covid could do. In the second wave, they faced the scourge of both lack of medical infrastructure and economic distress,” Vinod adds.

“There is a major lack of awareness in the tribal areas as people are used to home remedies, or country medicines, and are apprehensive about getting vaccinated,” says Vinod. He adds, “The administration’s focus has mainly been on urban areas, and help was provided to remote areas only when there was a surplus in the cities.”

Getting to the grassroots

Rajesh Chowdhary, a working professional, along with his family, does community service in the slums of Bengaluru. From a young age, Rajesh has been into philanthropic work, and currently, he is involved with multiple organisations, including the campaign by actor Shreyas Chinga. Rajesh says, “We do not want to simply give money when we can go and do something first-hand.” He adds, “I have an association with international sales professionals forum and hospitality sales professionals forum, and we contributed to Shreyas’ cause.”

Shreyas’ campaign distributed thousands of food packets and ration to underprivileged families. Rajesh adds, “Even though our contribution was small but Shreyas liked our family and collaborated with us. I do not appreciate taking funds from others, so I spent about Rs 1 lakh personally. Through these actions, I want to teach my daughters how to help the needy. We were all Covid positive, and from the day we recovered we have helped people with oxygen cylinders, financial help, or whatever was needed.”

“People from all over the country contacted us asking about how they could contribute. We encouraged them to go ahead and help people in their own area,” Rajesh added.

Bengaluru Hudugaru

A team of 40 ‘Bengaluru Hudugaru’ volunteers has been distributing food packets and medical kits to destitute people, senior citizens, and home-isolated Covid patients and their families, for the last two months. The group, with its presence in more than 25 wards of Bengaluru, has provided more than 700 nutritious meals to the needy every day as a part of the Hunger-free Bengaluru campaign.

“If Covid-affected patients give us their name, Specimen Referral Form (SRF) ID, and government identity card, medical and food kits will be delivered to their doorstep,” says Vinod Kartavya, co-founder of ‘Bengaluru Hudugaru’. The team mentored by Bhaskar Rao, former Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru City and Manjunatha Prasad, former Commissioner of BBMP,  has catered to patients residing in Banashankari, Jayanagar, JP Nagar, Bommanahalli, Indiranagar, Sampangiramanagar, CV Raman Nagar, and others.

The group has distributed masks to more than 1,000 reporters of various news organisations. Vinod adds that the team assisted auto and cab drivers to fill online application forms to get a Rs 3000 Covid-19 package. “We have helped more than 300 auto drivers across the city get their money and are still attending several drivers’ requests,” Vinod says. “I have distributed ration kits to more than 300 transgenders, photographers, and studio engineers in the last two months,” he adds.

As the third wave of the pandemic is set to infect children, he says. “We plan to vaccinate children staying in rural and slum areas of the city, as soon as it starts,” he says. The group will donate nebulisation devices to Covid care centres and equip them with entertainment tools for Covid-19 infected children to enjoy, during their stay in hospitals.

The group also conducts blood donation camps regularly across the city, in association with the One Nation Youth initiative. These volunteers get funds from many social organisations abroad, through wellwishers. For details, contact Vinod Kartavya at 96117 33032. 

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