Yuvraj Singh on #Mission1000Beds: It’s our opportunity to come together in this war against Covid
Known to always lend a helping hand to those in need, one couldn’t expect Yuvraj Singh to not step up and do his bit especially during a global crisis. As the country reels under the second wave of Covid-19, Singh’s foundation, YouWeCan, recently launched #Mission1000Beds — a hospital capacity expansion solution to rapidly scale up the Covid-19 critical care facilities across India. In a chat with us, the former Indian cricketer tells us how did this all start, what it is aimed at and how the past year has been for him dealing with the pandemic.
It has been a year and a half since the pandemic hit. How have you dealt with all the changes, the new normal?
Well, Covid-19 has affected everyone directly or indirectly. Initially, it was a bit challenging, as adapting to anything takes time, but I believe the quicker you adapt the better the process becomes in every sphere of life. In this challenging time, I, along with my team, tried to help as many as we can to mitigate the catastrophic situation through all the possible ways.
Last year with our foundation YouWeCan, we mobilised resources towards providing over 1 million hygiene kits to Covid affected states across the country. We also worked closely with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, UNICEF & WHO on running multiple Covid 19 awareness campaigns throughout the year.
Given the uncertainties and anxiety amid such gloomy times, topped with negative news everywhere, what has been your coping mechanism?
A solution driven ecosystem has always been my coping mechanism. With the devastation happening around where people are losing their loved ones, I couldn’t think of anything else other than extending my help, resources to the affected families where they can access healthcare infrastructure easily at a time like this. The best way to cope with anything orbits around finding the solution and dealing with it.
Did this period give you enough time to look back and reflect and introspect into your life? Any learnings or realisations?
Yes, times like this always give either the lessons or reasons to reflect back. Though I always introspect time and again, but times like these make you see things from the lens of gratefulness for the family and friends around you. I believe, staying strong, giving warmth and being kind, the need of the hour for everyone.
Your initiative Mission 1000 Beds has gained momentum ever since YWC launched it earlier this month. How did this idea come about? What was the trigger?
All of us have lost loved ones and also witnessed countless cases of people struggling for oxygen, ICU beds and other critical care facilities required to combat COVID. I have been deeply impacted by this, too, and felt that we all need to step up to support our healthcare providers and the central as well as state governments who are all working tirelessly. So, we launched #Mission1000Beds — a hospital capacity expansion solution, which will rapidly scale up the Covid-19 critical care facilities across India.
The second wave of COVID-19 crisis saw human life suffer than ever before. How is this initiative aimed at ensuring the basics to those battling the virus?
With this initiative, we aim to strengthen the capacity of government, Army, autonomous and charitable hospitals by setting up oxygenated beds, ventilators and BiPAP machines, along with other essential medical equipment which is required for critical care of COVID-19 patients. Not only will these enhance the current capacity of the hospitals, but will continue to serve patients for 10 years and beyond. By fulfilling this immediate requirement, we also envision to enhance the healthcare infrastructure in other spheres in near future.
This activity has already been initiated in Delhi NCR, Punjab, Haryana, UP, J&K, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Telangana, Karnataka & MP while various other cities in different states are also being looked at. We aim to strengthen the existing capacity of hospitals by 10%-15% so that they can cater to more COVID affected patients and save more lives. These facilities will have the capacity to serve 6000 patients a month. Moreover, post COVID the facility will continue to serve patients requiring critical care.
What results have you witnessed so far since the initiative #Mission1000Beds was launched?
It’s been a successful initiative, while we had started with a target of 1000 beds, we have already received requests for more than 2000 beds from hospitals across the country and we see this number going up. This is our opportunity to come together in this war against COVID. I urge others to join this initiative too. Our actions today will go a long way in saving countless lives. We are very grateful for all the support we are receiving from family, friends, fellow colleagues, entrepreneurs, organisations, Individuals and many more.
Amid this second wave of the pandemic, we’ve seen how social media has come to people’s rescue like never before with everyone stepping up and responding to SOS calls. How are you using social media to make #Mission1000Beds reach more people?
Social media has been a great platform to spread the word since most of us are on it and the reach is really high. One of the most effective bridges to connect with people and deliver the message. Social media contributes a major role in extending help especially at a time like this. With multiple platforms today, we have communicated at each social media handle to create awareness as much as we could.