Our COVID Initiatives
Life is not today what it was two years back- tight work schedules, studying for approaching competitive examinations, or school. The pandemic outbreak in 2020 brought the world to a standstill by forcing us to stay in our houses. A new culture of Work from Home emerged, and online classes became a part of our lives.
It has seriously affected us in many ways and we at AU Foundation realized it was the need of the hour to come forward and do our bit. But the question coming to our mind was how to support the people who are suffering.
After few brainstorming sessions we came across several pointers which we felt needs to be pondered upon. According to that, Bhilwara reported the maximum COVID-19 positive cases during 2020. We spoke to people in Bhilwara and finally decided to set up an RT PCR lab in Bhilwara since this was one of the facilities lacking in that region. We helped in setting this lab at RVRS Govt. Medical College, Bhilwara.It gave us the satisfaction that we have contributed towards speeding up the treatment of COVID-19.
While most of us were secure at our homes, there were the migrant workers who only had the option of returning to their native places. With no money in their pockets and trains and buses services halted, they had to resort to walking to their villages and towns. We realized their pain and initiated Project HUMSAFAR. We arranged for vans to take them to their native places. We gathered them in groups on the basis of their home states and arranged for vans to help them reach their destinations.
Besides the migrant workers, the times were very difficult for the underprivileged communities. Due to the ongoing pandemic, they had no source of income. The lockdown had taken away their jobs, many small businesses were permanently closed, people working as house helps, drivers, laborers, etc. were staying at home due to the lockdown. We decided to help them. Our team distributed 25,000 dry food ration kits, masks, gloves, and sanitation kits in 11 states where AU Foundation is active. The whole idea behind this was to provide them some relief and some way to help them stay away from the pandemic. Masks and gloves are important for them as much as they are for other people.
Affording adequate meal was also very difficult for many. We also served 2,50,000 hot meals across 11 states. When each day is a struggle for some, it was an effort to lessen their pain.
Crisis can be dealt with when we are together. United we stand. We collaborated with various NGOs and together we managed to reach many people who were facing difficult circumstances.
And as we were all protecting ourselves and our loved ones, there were those serving in the hard times so that we could be safe – our COVID warriors. The policemen, guards, vegetable vendors, cleaners, and more were all doing their duties to guard their countrymen. The policemen were doing their jobs in the scorching heat, maintaining distance from their families and not being able to meet them for days. As an attempt to help these COVID heroes, we distributed PPE kits, N95 masks, face shields, and other items.
Another way we could support during the pandemic was to make people aware. When people are aware and conscious they can help break the chain. We carried out awareness campaigns in Gujarat, Rajasthan, MP, and Maharashtra engaging people in various ways. We also installed hand-washing stations and sanitizer pedal dispensers at high footfall areas.
Then comes our real heroes. The work of our doctors is commendable in these tough times. They are working tirelessly day and night to cure people. We wanted to support them in some way. We donated non-invasive BIPAP ventilators to Dr. VM Govt. Medical College (Solapur), Dr. Balabhai Nanavati Hospital (Mumbai), and Mahatma Gandhi Hospital (Jaipur). This would help cure more patients.
These were some of the efforts where we could directly contribute towards COVID relief but there was a way of reaching more people and that was through PM CARES and CM Relief funds. We contributed INR 2 crores to PM CARES FUND and INR 51 lakhs each to Delhi & Maharashtra CM Relief Funds.
The second wave of COVID-19 affected more people but there is a ray of hope now with vaccines being available. So, we took up the task to spread awareness for vaccination among people.
We created awareness through vans playing recorded messages. The vans went to slums and other low-income areas to spread awareness for vaccination and busting the myths surrounding it. Our team is also visiting these areas to spread awareness and helping people there get vaccinated.
The pandemic has taught us that when we work together towards a problem, we can surely find a solution. It has also taught us to be grateful, to empathize, the importance of family, and to stand up for each other in times of need.
Let us hope that with the vaccinations going on we move towards healthier times again resuming our normal lives and become better individuals.