The rise of the Humanitarian

With Covid leaving its calling card at almost every door, it is people who are rising above selves and circumstances to offer aid in the most unexpected ways

With the 2nd wave of Covid ravaging the country and barely any family remaining untouched by it, I have seen an almost crescendo like build-up of chatter across platforms. The day starts with grim updates on loved ones lost, and desperate pleas for help for hospital admissions, oxygen cylinders, covid-specific medicines, and at times even basic medicines like Meftal Forte. This second wave is nothing short of a catastrophic tsunami, and yes, there are huge issues everyone is facing and a lot of finger-pointing is happening, but for now I’d really like to focus on what’s been lifting my spirits – seeing communities and people coming together like never before, helping in any and every which way they can. Whether it leads for a bed, a ventilator, an oxygen refill, home RT-PCR or blood tests, or even daily food requirements – these are the people who are the real heroes on-ground, slogging away unsung, with no expectations but just wanting to help another in need. 

There are two incidents I have heard about recently, one where a man drove 1400 km from Bihar to Delhi to bring an oxygen cylinder for his friend who needed it, and two, of a gentleman driving an old lady from Chandigarh to Palampur as he noticed her distraught state at the bus stop having missed the bus that had to get her to her son. Selfless and heartwarming, there are countless such incidents that are reinforcing our belief in the innate goodness of human beings. Yes, as in everything else there are always a few rotten ones who create toxicity in the environment, but for now the good ones are what we should all focus on.

There are kindly lab people who have not bothered about ‘getting their payment first’ and just gone ahead and sent the all critical test results to patients, groups that are on their phones all day long verifying leads for those needing anything. Communities are being formed online, apps are being created to help match demand and supply of just about everything any one may need. Taskforce groups within communities are rallying around to looks after the old and fragile, kids, neighbours, as best as they can in this very lonely disease. Besides medical supplies and home-cooked meals, many are also offering grief counselling to those suffering losses, or those hit by anxiety pangs as loved ones battle it out alone and cut off, in rooms at home or in a remote hospital. The Sikh community has yet again proved what an amazing people they are as Gurudwaras across the country have set up free medical treatment centres, free langars, free meal delivery to those isolated in their homes. And mind you these meals are beautifully packed and delivered with love and care for the dignity of the receiver.

It is vigilant among these communities who are also alerting the larger networks and snowballing news that is very critical and important – about fake remedies that are doing the rounds that can actually be fatal, more importantly about the fake medicines being sold to hapless unsuspecting people in need, and sharing genuine chemists’ contact numbers for specific medicines like Fabiflu, Tocilizumab, Dexamethasone, or even Mederol. 

There is just one point I’d really like to make here, in this hour each of us need to be selfless and giving, and if we can’t spare time or money, let’s be generous and not hoard medicines ‘just in case we need it at some point – this medicine may save someone’s life today. Please do believe that the better you do will come around. The only way we can get through this with the least amount of loss and scarring is if we are there for each other in their time of need. So let’s all get together to overcome this huge challenge that we’ve been hit with. Let’s just get through this, for every one of us and our loved ones. 

As a person on my WhatsApp group summed it up so succinctly “I love this community! Have gotten tremendous support, love, care, blessings from so many neighbours who don’t even know me! There is a protective layer of love and compassion around. It’s overwhelming. God bless each one of you!”



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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