Covid-19: In testing times, volunteers ease burden

By: Sameer Showkin Lone

Srinagar: The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the human lives and had shattered great economies of the world, but in a small place like Kashmir, comprising a population of some 60 lakh, the volunteers have shown the way with everything possible way they could do.

In absence of proper healthcare system, the local administration received overwhelming support from Civil Society organsations, NGOs and other voluntary groups supported by the large portion of population through charity and other human resource support.

All these freebies wouldn’t have been possible without the support and generosity of the local people- be it financial, moral or in the form of men and machinery- of the local population, who poured support and campaigned hard on social media sites.

The Precious Kashmir spoke to numerous groups and organizations, who put in their services in different ways to strengthen the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Mushtaq Ahmed has also hailed the services of volunteer groups and NGOs and CSOs for coming forward in the time of need.

“Some provided ambulances; some provided blood, oxygen support and some provided food… this has been continuing for over four months now. When the time was crucial, nobody was hungry or faced shortage of oxygen or any other support. It was a collective effort to save as many lives as possible,” said Dr Mushtaq Ahmed.

According to the doctors in GMC associated hospitals  not only provided free meals to thousands of attendants from across the valley, but played a major role in saving the lives of critical persons.

Dr Irshad, a medico, said the most important role these volunteers played is they avoided chaos in the hospitals, which was the need of the hour.

“To save a critical patient, timing is the most important thing. These volunteers didn’t allow chaos in and outside the hospital. They streamlined the system. Without them such efficiency would have been least possible. As in normal days we see more of the attendant-doctor conflict,” he said.

Suhaib Rasool (name changed), who heads a group of volunteers serve food free of cost to the patients in hospitals in Srinagar. “It is a testing time for us as a nation. We have shown a united face in the time of need and we should continue. This pandemic should go defeated. Everyone should contribute the way they could do. The biggest contribution is taking precautions,” he said.

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