Good Samaritans helping people fight COVID gloom

While some are distributing food for free to those in quarantine, others are supplying free oxygen

Several people are stepping up in these times of crisis, leading the way with their selfless service and ushering in hope amidst an atmosphere of gloom.

A. Lakshmi Annapurna is one such Good Samaritan, who, along with a small team of volunteers, sets out every day to oversee the cooking, packing and delivery of healthy food to the doorsteps of families who have contracted the COVID-19 virus and are in home isolation — free of cost.

“I experienced the difficulties of the quarantine in October last year when I tested positive. I felt very weak and cooking food during isolation was a tedious task,” she recalls, informing that she decided that she would help others by initiating a free food delivery service through Margam Foundation, a service organisation she had founded eight years back.

Despite the challenging situation in the second wave, Ms. Annapurna, with her eight volunteers in tow, comes out of the safe confines of her home following all safety measures such as wearing double masks, gloves and liberal use of hand sanitisers, and delivers food packets.

“Initially, we started operations only in eight areas but with the gradual increase in demand, as people started making use of our publicised helpline number to request for food delivery, we expanded our area of service. We now serve people in 18 different localities,” she said.

The food is prepared in a centralised kitchen in One Town area and shifted to Mogulrajpuram from where the volunteers take them to different addresses. The initial investment of ₹2 lakh from her pocket inspired other like-minded people to contribute money. Based on financial viability, Ms. Prasanna plans to include breakfast and dinner and reach out to a larger number of people in the days to come.

To avail the services of Margam Foundation, COVID-hit families in home quarantine may call 909477333.

Helping people breathe easy

Disturbed by the scramble for oxygen cylinders, members of the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation are giving a new lease of life to persons gasping for breath, by supplying oxygen cylinders free of cost.

People can reach out to the organisation by registering on 9393431313. The foundation’s volunteers first ascertain the medical needs of the caller. “We make sure that the whole exercise is carried out under medical supervision and deliver the oxygen cylinder only after acquiring a letter from the doctor concerned,” says Karam Kaur of the foundation. A refundable security deposit of ₹30,000 is charged for each cylinder. “This is because in the initial stage, we were giving the cylinders free of cost and some of the cylinders were not returned,” she explains.

The foundation is flooded with panic calls. “We are also trying to counsel people affected by the virus and it is working wonders,” says Ms. Kaur. The foundation members have also started getting support from other communities for the cause and are hopeful of expanding their services in the days to come.

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