Sikh youths help COVID patients breathe life in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack

The frantic calls for help from COVID-19 patients in home isolation have kept Satbir Singh and his friends in Twin City on their toes.
The SikhAid group in Bhubaneswar. (Photo | EPS)
The SikhAid group in Bhubaneswar. (Photo | EPS)

BHUBANESWAR:  For the last 10 days, Satbir Singh’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing. The frantic calls for help from Covid-19 patients in home isolation have kept the 35-year-old volunteer and his friends in Twin City on their toes. But this is no time to rest, they say.

Satbir and nine of his friends of the Sikh community had formed SikhAid, a non-profit organisation, in 2020 to help people hit by the Covid-19 pandemic after the country went under lockdown.

And since March this year when the country saw resurgence of the deadly virus, the SikhAid members have been providing oxygen cylinders, pulse oximeters, masks and other medical assistance to Covid-19 patients who are under home isolation, free of cost. The members of SikhAid are students and businessmen, all in the age group of 25 to 35.

Till Saturday, the team has delivered 25 such cylinders to patients apart from helping needy people and senior citizens with medicines, masks, grocery and food in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

However, there is a protocol that they follow before providing an oxygen cylinder.

“Whenever we get request for an oxygen cylinder, we ask the patients about their oxygen saturation level and if they have consulted any doctor about their requirement of an oxygen cylinder.

If they say yes, we verify it with the doctor concerned and then get the oxygen cylinder fitted in their home. We also explain them about the oxygen level that they need to maintain if their oxygen saturation is between 90 and 95 or if it drops further”, says Satbir, a businessman.

Apart from spending from their own savings to procure cylinders and medical supplies for patients in isolation, the SikhAid members get financial support from some members of their community in Twin City.  

With the situation turning alarming now, members of the organisation urged people not to stock up on oxygen cylinders or Covid supplies.

“We want to take this opportunity to request people of the Twin City not to hoard oxygen cylinders at their homes apprehending a scarcity in the days to come. By doing so, you might be depriving a needy patient of timely help”, says Paramjit Singh, a 25-year-old volunteer of SikhAid and a student of Utkal University.

Last year, the group had provided oxygen cylinders close to 100 Covid patients apart from helping hapless people with food and other essentials besides, distributing masks and sanitisers among frontline Covid warriors, people living on the roads and senior citizens who are living alone in the Twin City.

SikhAid can be contacted at 8018008021 (Bhubaneswar) and 9040475426(Cuttack). 

As Covid second wave rages, pushing suffering people to a state of utter helplessness with health infrastructure collapsing under its weight, common citizens have turned saviours, extending a helping hand to Covid patients by providing them much-needed oxygen cylinders, medical aid and food

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