BENGALURU: Every crisis is an opportunity. And the COVID-19 pandemic is no different. This seems to be the mantra for many youngsters in the city as they join the leagues of frontline workers to help mitigate the crisis on hand. Students across Bengaluru have sprung into action and their initiatives include networking, delivering essentials, civic policing and call centre management. With fluctuating academic schedules, most claim to have time to take up a good cause.
Take, for instance, Yohann Joe, who has been volunteering with the Archdiocese of Bengaluru’s COVID-19 burial team to do his bit for the crisis. Recently, photographs of cremation grounds in India have been going viral on the Internet. All of 18 years, Joe has undertaken more than 100 burials. Not able to digest the way the dead were given a farewell, Joe signed up for the task of burying them in a dignified way. “So far I have undertaken 160 burials. We are a 15-member team who ensure the deceased are buried in a dignified manner and are not just dumped into the ground,” says the Psychology student. When asked about the impact that burying so many bodies has had on him, Joe simply says, “I am used to it now.”
On the other hand, this group of four girls is helping prevent patients from succumbing to such a fate. Psychology students N Sindhu, Ashwini Raghavendra, Renibi Mukhai and Geethika Nair, all in their twenties, have created a one-stop platform that gives access to verified websites and contacts related to COVID-19 resources across the country. Their website (sindhu200121.wixsite.com/website-1) became operational on April 24. “We have recorded 6,000 visits on our website in less than six days. We have received 300 calls till now and are attending to 40 patients as of date across India. Of these, we have helped 36 patients to get the required resources,” says Sindhu.
Strict safety protocol could make a huge difference in this ongoing wave of the pandemic. Which is why Harsha Talur, a BBA/LLB student, chose to assist the police. The 18-year-old says, “I am temporarily heading a team of 16 volunteers at Girinagar checkpost to assist the police department in ensuring nobody breaches the lockdown guidelines.” The teenager hopes his efforts here are more successful, especially after he was a part of the Covid Raksha helpline until last week.
“There were many calls for bed requirements, Remdesivir and oxygen supply. Due to lack of preparedness by the government, we weren’t able to help them. Because of this, many succumbed to death. This pained me, so I quit,” says Talur. With severe restrictions back in full swing, many senior citizens are left worried about the situation.
Helping them is Mihir Sachdev, a BCom professional student, who is a part of Relief Riders. This group of cyclists will be delivering essentials to the elderly on bicycles. But there’s a lot more riding on this job description. “I am deployed at Huskur Gate, Electronic city. I believe we should not just deliver essentials and get back. It is important to empathise with seniors, lend an ear to their problems and ensure they are feeling better too,” he says.
Psychology students Ashwini Raghavendra, N Sindhu, Renibi Mukhai and Geethika Nair, have created a one-stop platform that gives access to verified websites and contacts related to COVID-19 resources across the country. Their website became operational on April 24.
Be it volunteering with burial teams, delivering essentials to seniors or assisting the police to ensure lockdown guidelines are followed students in the city have sprung into action with COVID-19 relief work