#CampusCalling: College students turn Covid warriors
Driven to save lives, students of various colleges in Delhi have been working hard amid the second wave of Covid-19. Whether it is to verify and share leads for available hospital beds or oxygen cylinders, or donating money to support the patients financially, many college goers have turned into virtual soldiers in Delhi’s fight against the coronavirus.
“I joined Miranda House Covid help desk that has been working to help others 24X7, and is open to students and others who want to volunteer for the same. Despite being Covid positive myself, I’ve been contributing to this initiative since I feel it’s my duty to do so at this time, when people need me the most,” says Vidyanshi Singh, a first year student of Miranda House, Delhi University. She adds, “Whenever we get any leads of beds, plasma or oxygen from social media, reliable websites, or any official sources provided by the government, we first verify the resources personally and then forward the contacts to those in need. My seniors and I have helped a lot of people including my batch mates, by providing them verified sources to avail ventilator beds, ICU, plasma, oxygen cylinders, medicines or any other Covid resources in not just Delhi but in cities across India including Lucknow, Kanpur and Hyderabad.”
Alongside, some students are also organising food deliveries for the Covid impacted families. And above and beyond providing all tangible help, some are trying to bring in positivity to the lives of others, by counselling those who are struggling with anxiety and other mental health issues due to the present crisis. “I’ve always wanted to contribute to humanity in whatever way I could. So when the new wave of pandemic struck, I decided to provide people with verified information about medicines, oxygen cylinders, beds, and also helped in getting food delivered to the Covid infected families. And incase they feel they need someone to talk, I ensure that I’m always available! I listen to them, and try and uplift their spirits. No feeling is more exhilarating than saving lives,” says Anchal Singh, a second year student of Miranda House.
“Losing my professor to Covid, since she couldn’t find a bed in any of the Delhi hospitals, propelled me to helping others. I wanted to make sure that no one else faces such a situation, and so I actively started helping people out as much as I could,” says Sugandhika Ghalyan, a second year student of Lakshmi Bai College. She informs how college students pan India have made groups on social media, to help Covid patients procure what they are looking for. “I’m the central councillor of my college, and many of my college mates who faced difficulties in getting beds, ambulances, plasma and other requirements have reached out to me in the recent past. I started helping them, and gradually with the assistance of my seniors, I connected with students from across the country to form pan India student Covid teams, to help residents suffering in our respective cities,” adds Ghalyan.
Sanjay Kataria, a Master’s student at Department of Library and Information Science, has recently distributed food, masks and ration to the daily wage labourers around the campus who have been adversely impacted by Covid and the lockdown. He says, “This is the best time to step forward and help people who are suffering. I double masked myself, and went along with a fellow hosteller to distribute food to the underprivileged and daily wage labourers around the campus. A lot of them don’t even have the money to get tested for Covid, and are facing a hard time. We distributed masks and basic medicines to them. I’ve also been helping people get access to hospital beds, oxygen, and plasma through my network of friends who are health care professionals.”
Author tweets @FizzyBuddha