The Optimist Citizen

Covid Relief Brigade : Youth of Bhopal pulling the city of the pandemic crisis

A bunch of young volunteers from Bhopal were compelled to start COVID relief work in April after coming to terms with the glaring reality of  the second wave. A bunch of youngsters, who go by the name Covid Relief Brigade are now helping people with oxygen, medicines and even food.  Making the city beam with pride of the upbringing it has instilled in it’s young people.

The second wave of COVID-19 has been unkind to all of us. Without sparing anyone, it had taken a toll on all of us, directly or indirectly. While many are reeling under its disastrous impact and trying to cope with the ‘new normal,’ some people have come forward to help their fellow beings. A young man from Bhopal was compelled to translate a COVID relief work on the ground in April after coming to terms with the glaring reality.

Divender Cheema - Covid Relief Brigade
Divender Cheema from Covid Relief Brigade team – Bhopal

Divender Singh Cheema, along with his team of 8 volunteers of Covid Relief Brigade, took stock of the deteriorating situation and went out on the streets to help those in need. The team quickly grew to 120 and now, all the young volunteers are working on different things including availability of beds and oxygen cylinder, food distribution, etc.  He shared that after he realised inadequacy of social media, he took to fieldwork to connect patients with verified leads quickly. “There have been a lot of myths surrounding blood donation and latest conditions such as Black Fungus. Most people are scared because of unawareness,” said Cheema. “We spoke to the doctors and physicians to obtain accurate information and tried our best to spread it.” Besides this, the team has around 30 oxygen concentrators on rent. The members took the responsibility of refilling them and providing them to people in need.

Covid Relief Brigade - Bhopal
Covid Relief Brigade – Bhopal

Divender shared that the real shock was to see the horrid situation of hospitals. Right from the unavailability of crucial medical aid to inadequate facilities for the patients and their kins, the mismanagement of the system swept the floor off our feet. The government hospitals lacked the infrastructure to handle a critical situation such as this. “Things have been really scary,” Cheema chipped in. He explained how they began distributing food packets to kin of COVID patients. They even went to the Ladies’ hospital and distributed homemade food to the pregnant women. Recently, they have placed an order of masks with unemployed female tailors in the city to distribute them. In this way, they are providing some employment to them. The young team is doing everything in its capacity to help everyone sail through the crisis.

While the team is diligently making efforts, they are disappointed to find how some people are still reluctant to help each other in distress. More so some of these are finding ways to be worse during times of crisis. Be it the steep rise in the price of oxygen cylinders to stocking of medicines, we are not doing any better. Despite this, there have been some generous people who have helped the team with monetary assistance. This has kept the good samaritans stay afloat with their incredible work. Regardless of this, Divender urged people to come together in these times to fight COVID. Together, we can certainly get through the tough times. The team constantly puts out updates of its daily work on field and anyone who wishes to join or support their cause can reach them through their social media handle.

Click here to visit the Instagram Page of the Covid Relief Brigade.

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