Humanity has always been able to rise to its challenges and come together to resist them. The strength of our spirit has been exhibited many times in wars, diseases, natural disasters, and economic crises.
Our generation has been facing the pandemic and its unprecedented nature for the past year. Yet, we have managed to adapt to the new ways and fight our battle against them. Amidst this confrontation, a few covid warriors have come forward to care about the society at large.
In this blog, we will acknowledge our heroes’ efforts and thank them for their initiatives. Here’s a look:
1. Kerala’s Father Davis Chiramel
Fr Davis Chiramel is now a household name in Kerala for his efforts to help the state’s people in their war against the virus. The Catholic priest has started a Hunger Hunt initiative, which distributes 20,000 food packets since January 2021.
A well-known philanthropist, Fr Chiramel, has also initiated a Covid Death Support that looks to pay Rs. 50,000 to 500 families that have lost their bread-earners to the virus. His organization has already short-listed 300 families and disbursed payments to 40. He also plans to extend the help by 1 lakh rupees to help the neediest families find subsistence.
Citizens like Fr Chiramel have proven that true covid warriors exist!
2. Mumbai’s Khaana Chahiye Movement
A citizen-led initiative brewed in March when seven covid warriors from different backgrounds started Khaana Chahiye. Mapping out the city, they created a food packet distribution network for migrant workers passing through the metro.
Turning restaurants into community kitchens, Khaana Chahiye distributed over 47 lakh meals by January 2021. They also sent out 20,000 ration kits, extending a helping hand to over 5 lakh migrant laborers.
Members of the initiative include restaurateur Neeti Goel, activist Ruben Mascarenhas, volunteer activist Shishir Joshi, businessman Anik Gadia, advocate Rakesh Singh, software consultant Pathik Muni, and digital marketer Swaraj Shetty.
Khaana Chahiye is a testimony to the will of the covid warriors and how they are extending a helping hand despite all odds. Today, the initiative has successfully transformed itself into a non-profit organization.
3. Mumbai’s Mauris Noronha
Businessman turned philanthropist Mauris Noronha is a beacon of selfless service to society. He has driven a relentless effort to help slum-dwellers in his city survive the repercussions of the pandemic.
The Borivali covid warrior had started with helping his colony members, which consisted of around 120 families. However, this passion for helping people drove him to chip away at the savings that he had set aside to allow him to immigrate to the US.
Today, he has helped slum-dwellers and the impoverished throughout the city from Borivali to Dahisar, Virar, and more. His initiative reached out to 2 lakh individuals through 35,000 families. Noronha has also focused his aid on vital medical supplies, protective kits, and helping migrant workers navigate the city’s bureaucracy.
4. Mizoram’s mask and protective kit tailors
During the first wave of the pandemic, tailors and stitchers from Mizoram became covid warriors. They started a massive resistance against the pandemic by making PPE kits, face masks, and other protective covering.
The initiative involved over 400 tailors and started when Laal Ramdini, a professor at the Regional Institute of Paramedical and Nursing Sciences, published a clarion call on Facebook. It had a link to join the WhatsApp group and soon started running under his leadership.
The tailors and stitchers in local Mizo apartment stores put in hours of hard work for days on end to meet the protective kits required during the time.
5. India’s ASHA workers
India’s network of ASHA workers forms the primary interface between communities and the public healthcare system. With over 10 lakh Accredited Social Health Activists spread across the country, this covid warrior network has done its part in democratizing healthcare and reaching out to the marginalized sections of the society at minimum pay.
These workers have helped people from the poor economic sections self-quarantine themselves while supervising their conditions. Even though ASHA workers are paid very little, they face immense danger while enabling the first point of contact in remote places.
Their contributions are not acknowledged or discussed as much as they should be.
We have listed just five of the unsung covid warriors and made an effort to recognize their strength and help towards society. However, we are sure there are many such stories out there.
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