HT Trailblazers Awards salutes our Covid Heroes
Ambience Group, which went that extra mile to support migrant labour and healthcare professionals during the Covid-19 pandemic has partnered with Hindustan Times for HT Trailblazers Awards 2021 to honour this spirit of service before self.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought with it unprecedented health and economic challenges for the world at large and has undoubtedly been one of the toughest situations mankind has faced in a long time.
As we tried to survive these uncertain times and get into the rhythm of the new normal by staying indoors to prevent the spread of the virus, there were those who placed service before self and fought to keep the wheels of normalcy running. Even the tiniest efforts made by individuals in these testing times went a long way in making a difference.
The Ambience Group turned out to be one such Covid warrior, which pressed all its resources into action to support migrant labour and healthcare professionals when the pandemic was at its peak last year, a time when they needed this help the most.
When the lockdown was imposed throughout the country, thousands of migrant labourers were rendered jobless and found it hard to make ends meet. They were forced to make reverse migrate to their villages from cities, even though it meant walking hundreds of kilometres.
The Ambience Group, renowned for its premium developments across the National Capital Region (NCR) took under their wing more than 500 labourers working across their sites. The group set up kitchens to supply food and gave out dry ration kits to labourers as well as to NGOs in Gurugram who were running community kitchens. They also gave out sanitation kits along with daily training on hygiene and social distancing.
The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel in Delhi, which has more than 160 rooms, was converted into a boarding for doctors treating Covid-19 patients. A task force of 60 hotel employees was created to run this set-up and ensure that the doctors and other allied healthcare staff were looked after well when they returned from their duties at the hospital. In addition, The Leela Ambience Gurgaon Hotel and Residences also supplied food regularly to those in need.
“The ever-growing threat of the global pandemic has exposed us to exceptional challenges. While medical professionals feel immense pressure and work under potentially life threatening conditions, labourers were being robbed of their livelihoods. Stray animals on the streets were languishing without food from the regular feeders who were suddenly absent” said Ankush Kaul, President, Sales and Marketing at Ambience Group.
The silver lining in the pandemic was that it brought out the bravest and kindest amongst us and brought out stories of hope, resilience and inspiration. And, the least we can do is salute these Covid crusaders.
The Hindustan Times Trailblazer Awards 2021, presented by Ambience, is an attempt to honour the spirit of these Samaritans, who deserve recognition for their contribution to the cause of a larger good. As part of the campaign, eight awardees were shortlisted, whose stories are being shared across HT’s media platforms to inspire thousands of others and procreate compassion.
Take, for instance, the case of Dr Arjun Dang, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Delhi-based Dr Dangs Labs, who got the HT Trailblazer Award for heralding a new era in Covid testing in the country with the launch of the first drive-through Covid-19 testing facility in Delhi. The facility is completely contactless, making the testing process safe and convenient and was received very well by people as it ran at 200 per cent of its capacity during the peak infection months.
Another awardee, actor Sonu Sood, extended a helping hand to the needy – from helping migrant workers reach their villages, offering free food and giving money for urgent operations and scholarships, to even distributing free e-rickshaws – right in the midst of the pandemic.
Forty one-year-old educator Syed Rafath Praveen became a hero posthumously as she saved four other lives after both her kidneys, her heart, and her liver were transplanted into other critically ill patients. She suffered brain aneurysm, after which doctors declared her brain dead.
The other winners of the HT Trailblazers awards are para shooter Pooja Agarwal, Ayurvedic Specialist Dr VS Priya, Founder, Charity Beds Kapil Chopra, Actor-Producer Jackyy Bhagnani and CEO and Co-founder, HealthifyMe Tushar Vashisht, whose stories are equally inspiring.