Even after getting infected with covid-19 along with her entire family of seven members in April at the peak of the pandemic, this woman volunteer activist coordinated with a team to deliver around 600 breakfast packs daily at 27 nursing homes of Bhopal on regular basis for weeks and also helped volunteers at Bhadbhada crematorium which was flooded with dead bodies by mid-April.
Mita Wadhwa was part of a contingent of volunteers hailing to different fields who stretched themselves to help others during the second wave of covid-19 and were felicitated by a volunteer organization ‘Dream Bhopal –Green Bhopal’ on Saturday.
Speaking to News18.com, Wadhwa said that she and her husband contracted the infection and later the entire family of seven was down with the virus. She lost father in law GR Wadhwa on April 24. As she took the deceased relative to Bhadbhada crematorium for last rites, her heart melted seeing the plight there. Several bodies had no one to accompany to the final journey, lone women accompanying the dead bodies or kin of those dead not having proper resources to perform last rites amid disarray.
Though volunteers pooled in efforts with money from their own pockets, they claimed that locals also joined in soon with essentials which helped a lot to those in distress.
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“Crematorium secretary Mamtesh Sharma asked me to extend help especially in handling females who accompanied dead bodies who turned inconsolable after reaching the venue,” said Wadhwa adding she started visiting the facility daily with her husband till the end of May.
Commuting 50-60 km daily, our team distributed 500-600 breakfast packets including those for nursing home staff, especially those in night shifts, added Wadhwa. “It was a task involving long hours but we were never tired and only were worried as did we miss anyone with help, when we returned home in night.”
The community kitchen was run by Wadhwa and Puja Iyengar and the team distributed around 35,000 food packs in the city across 50 days. While Keshav Bangard and his team distributed 1000 plus packets to various hospitals in covid19 times.
There were others, who went beyond the call of duty to help out those in distress including Edward John a shanti van driver who drives a hearse van of Gurudwara Singh Sabha worked relentlessly carrying dead bodies out of his own compassion. As the deaths increased, Edward worked for long hours ferrying the dead to crematoriums and graveyards when the hearse vans were hard to come by and locals even were forced to carry dead bodies in cards, autos, and modified SUVs.
For instance, those dead had none to accompany, Edward even performed last rites as per Hindu rituals at crematoriums. He also did not listen to his family and near ones who asked him to not risk his life. Interestingly a devout to his call of duty, Edward did not attend the felicitation as he had a body to carry around the same time on Saturday.
Other like Dr Sangeeta Tank the in charge of the covid control room at Smart City office, with her team was entrusted with the responsibility of consulting those in isolation after contracting the infection. At a time, the number of home isolated patients rose to 12,000 in the city, and Dr. Tank had the herculean task of handing their dies, medicines, arranging hospital beds, oxygen, and other requirements.
Also, people like Dr. Harshita Singh, having the responsibility of Fever Clinic and Counselling dealt 200-300 patients on daily basis. Her responsibilities included counseling those in-home isolation while offering motivation to be mentally stress–free and recover faster. Apart from these hectic duties, Dr. Harshita helped pregnant ladies get hospitals beds for delivery in the covid19 peak and also arranged blood plasma for the patients.
Among the relentless efforts, there are people like ANM Gayatri Shrivastava who has vaccinated around 61,000 persons in the city alone till date. Starting from Jan 2021, Shrivastava inoculates around 300 persons daily. Others like Raju Pandey, part of CM Helpline worked for 20 to 22 hours a day helping those contacting for aid in distressing times.
MP Tourism Corporation was also hailed in the event for the innovation in which the corporation had started the country’s first drive-in vaccination where the locals were allowed to drive in their four-wheelers in open ground and get vaccinated inside their cars without fearing any infection during the process.
Medical Education minister Vishwas Sarang hailed the covid19 warriors saying amid all the negativity of covid19 times, the society exhibited a positive side during the pandemic where different sections came forward with self-motivation. Underlining the fact that the threat wasn’t over and measures like social distancing, masks, and covid appropriate behavior could avert the third wave of the pandemic.
Adding that 100 cr have been vaccinated in the country and in Madhya Pradesh, 95% are inoculated with the first dose and 83% have been vaccinated with the second one. A small event like this can’t honour each and every covid19 warrior but such events disseminate a positive message of inspiration to the society, added the minister.