A number of event managers have come together to launch an initiative ‘EEMA 24 Hours Oxygen Support Helpline for DELHI NCR’.
This 24/7 helpline offers real-time updates on availability of oxygen to people in Delhi, Gurugram, and Faridabad.
“Within a day of launching the helpline on April 29, we received around 1,800 calls, and have helped over 5,000 distressed callers so far,” says Vipul Pandhi, a member of the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA), who is heading the initiative.
Many oxygen suppliers had switched off their phones due to the overwhelming demand.
“At EEMA, we did some brainstorming on how we can contribute as civil society and help the government as soon as possible. We had to act fast as time was running out. We finally set up a 24-hour helpline to help people with real-time updates on where they can go and get their cylinder refilled during the day. Using our expertise in event management, we created the system within a day,” shares Pandhi.
Due to the extremely high call load, EEMA also started a Facebook Page titled Oxygen in Delhi-NCR, and all the information on this page as well.
“Besides saving lives, this helpline also prevents people from undergoing the harrowing experience of running from one location to another without knowing when and where they will get the oxygen, while their loved ones are lying in home, banking on them for their lives,” adds Pandhi.
The number of people working in the teams changes on a daily basis.
“We had a team of over 15 people on the ground on Tuesday, eight people managing the helpline, and 15 people managing back end operations,” he adds.
So far, they have identified 20 oxygen filling stations – five in South Delhi, four in West Delhi, four in North Delhi, three in Gurugram, three in Faridabad and one in Indirapuram. Every morning their volunteers go to their respective allocated locations, stay there from 10am to 6pm, and give real-time updates on the helpline numbers.
Pandhi says, “Places where the volunteers are still not in place, we have tried and established a reliable source in the vicinity of the outlet. This way the people who call the helpline numbers receive up-to-date information.” Despite minimal means and manpower to start this initiative, the EEMA team members went out to access the on-the-ground situation.
“We are trying to get an establishment in Noida, but have not been able to crack anything. Operations are going to the next level with each passing hour, more volunteers and outlets coming are onboard,” informs Pandhi, adding, “We are not selling gas cylinders or oxygen. We are only able to give information of sites which have been personally visited, verified, and established contact so far.”
24 HRS EEMA Oxygen Helpline Numbers
8:00am-12:00pm - 9711170220
12:00pm-4:00pm - 86964 96094
4:00pm-8:00pm - 85878 34472
8:00pm-12:00am - 81266 54666
12:00am-4:00am - 96544 18883
4:00am-8:00am - 98733 25428
These are personal numbers of volunteers and EEMA members, There will soon be a single helpline number.