‘We can’t just send condolences’: How ‘Team Avengers’ is helping Covid-affected families

Providing services in Gurgaon, Noida, Delhi, Gorakhpur, Jhansi among other places, 'Team Avengers' aims to bridge the gap created due to the pandemic and assist those in need

In the face of unspeakable hardships that Covid-affected families are going through, there are some who have decided to step up and lend a helping hand. One such group of people are Team Avengers who have pooled in their resources and are providing aid in the form of home-cooked meals, dry ration kits, medicines, and oxygen support, ambulances, verified medical leads, hospital beds, and even funds to Covid-affected families.

Starting as a WhatsApp group on April 26, ‘Team Avengers’ is a brainchild of six close friends.

“We saw a lot of people breathing their last on the streets. There are many people known to us who couldn’t get medical facilities,” Abhijeet Dutta, the 45-year-old founding member of the group, told the indianexpress.com. The urge to help encouraged him to reach out to friends and family who soon became a part of the initiative.

Sharing how the name came into play, Dutta said, “I gave the name ‘Team Avengers’ because, just like the movie, every Avenger has a special power and similarly each human has a special power to help and heal others.”

Providing services in Gurgaon, Noida, Delhi, Gorakhpur, Jhansi among other places, ‘Team Avengers’ aims to bridge the gap created due to the pandemic and assist those in need.

“Isolation is what Covid is bringing. Nobody is ready to help. Even the families sometimes are not able to. It is a big problem that has occurred due to the pandemic,” said founding member and volunteer Deepshikha Singh Khan.

Overwhelmed by the distressful situation around her, the 44-year-old social worker started cooking and distributing home-cooked meals and medical kits. “We can’t just send condolences. Something needed to be done to improve the situation,” said Khan.

So far, the team has distributed over 3,000 cooked meals and a number of ration kits to covid patients, their families and people outside hospitals, slums, railway stations, bus stops and streets of Delhi NCR.

Another challenge that the team faced was the overwhelming demand. “We felt helpless. We were unable to provide the medical facilities for severe cases. We were unable to find ICU beds or oxygen cylinders,” Dutta told the indianexpress.com.

However, with time, as the network grew, solutions started pouring in. The team also realised that even one verified number, one available ICU bed, one oxygen cylinder, one available ambulance can make a difference. “When people are in so much pain, that is all they need,” Khan said.

In less than a month, the group has grown from five to 55 volunteers, including doctors, medical researchers, life coaches and social workers from the USA, Germany and India, who are providing online consultation to covid patients and their families, on how to fight the disease, tackle post-covid trauma and depression due to isolation.

Amid the gloom surrounding the second wave of Covid-19, with several people losing their near and dear ones, it is the positive stories of people winning the battle against the disease that keeps the volunteers motivated.

Recalling an incident, where she was able to help save a life, founding member Ruchi Mahajan said, “We were informed about a person’s dipping oxygen levels. We provided him with oxygen cans and because of that, they were able to reach the hospital on time and the situation was under control.”

For Khan, it was a distress call from a Canada-based resident who sought help for her grandparents in Nangloi, Delhi. “Her grandparents were suffering from covid and there was nobody to refill the oxygen cylinder. With the leads I gave, she was able to arrange the refill. There are losses every day but then these small wins make all the difference.”

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