Bahraich man, friends gift oxygen generator machine to medical college
A 40-year-old businessman and his friends pooled in money to buy an oxygen generator machine and gifted it to the government medical college in Bahraich, enabling Covid-19 positive patients with fluctuating SPO2 (oxygen saturation) levels to visit the Level-1 Covid care facility there to get relief.
Sarwar Ali, who took the initiative and emerged as an “oxygen man” for the residents of Bahraich battling the second wave of Covid-19, said he was shocked by the death of kin, friends and neighbours.
“Daily, I received information about the death of Covid-19 patients after the second wave hit the district. In a majority of the cases, the patients’ family members said that the deaths were due to a drop in oxygen level or the unavailability of oxygen support in hospitals,” he said.
“Experts and doctors told me if the oxygen supply was not boosted in hospitals or oxygen support was not provided to patients immediately, more people will fall prey to SARS-CoV-2,” he said.
“I discussed the issue with my friends and whether anything could be done to make oxygen available to patients in dire need of it. We searched the Internet for oxygen supply, air separator plants and other oxygen manufacturing machines. We decided to gift an oxygen machine to the government hospital where a majority of the poor patients are admitted,” said Ali who has done Masters in Computer Application (MCA) from Lucknow University and belongs to Bahraich.
“We zeroed in on an oxygen generator machine manufactured by a South Korean company. We contacted the company’s agent in Gurugram (Haryana). He told us the machine will cost ₹20 lakh. With the contribution of friends, we pooled in ₹16 lakh. We contacted the company agent again and urged him to cut the price on humanitarian grounds. To our surprise, he agreed. The money was transferred into the company’s account on April 15,” he said.
Now, the task was to transport the machine from Gurugram to Bahraich immediately, he said.
“We informed district magistrate Shambhu Kumar about our endeavour. He assured all help and deputed the joint magistrate to accomplish the task. Within four days, the machine was transported to Bahraich. The company’s engineer was called from Ambedkar Nagar to install the plant on the state medical college premises. On April 23, the oxygen generator was operational, providing oxygen to the supply line of Covid wards. It has the capacity of producing 64,800 litres of oxygen in 24 hours. A large number of patients are surviving on this oxygen support,” he said.
The district magistrate said the initiative taken by Ali and his friends was laudable. He said, “Other people should also come forward to help people in distress.”
Sarwar said Uttar Pradesh and the rest of the country were facing an unprecedented crisis due to Covid-19.
“It’s impossible for the government to provide health facilities and services to all patients. People, particularly those who have money, should assist the government and the poor in fighting the pandemic,” he said.