Human virtues to the fore in Rotary’s Covid projects

Ventilators being handed over to the Ramanathapuram Government Medical College Hospital.
Ventilators being handed over to the Ramanathapuram Government Medical College Hospital.

Rotarians across India are helping those afflicted by the coronavirus and many are doing so by using social media too. Here is a one example: Sandip Singh Walia from RC Green Land Silchar, RID 3240, noticed a message on his Whatsapp group from one Vijay Choudhary requesting a plasma donor to save his elderly father being treated at the QRG Health City in Faridabad.

One day later “I noticed that ­Choudhary was unable to find a plasma donor. And so I thought of helping him,” says Walia. He got the phone number of Jagdish Sahdev, president, RC Faridabad Central, RID 3011, from the club’s website, narrated the situation to him and shared with him the patient’s details and Choudhary’s contact number.”

Jagdish then leveraged his Rotary contacts to get the concerned person to link with Choudhary. “Everything was lined up within an hour as Jagdish coordinated with the hospital management and urged them to update us on the patient’s status in regular intervals,” explains Walia.

“Vijay was extremely thankful to Rotary. A plasma unit was arranged by the local Red Cross chapter after Jagdish, an influential member of the plasma committee set up by the ­Faridabad ­Deputy Commissioner, arranging everything for the patient,” says Walia. This plasma unit is being kept “as a standby for emergency with the patient recovering at home,” he says.

In a major initiative, RCs ­Bagmati Kathmandu, Tripureswor, ­Kathmandu Metro, Kantipur and ­Kathmandu Downtown, RID 3292, jointly donated 400 visors, 20 boxes of disposable gloves and other safety material to the Patan Hospital, ­Lalitpur. PDG Chintamani Bhattarai handed over the safety kits to Dr Rabi Shakya, director, Patan Hospital. In his address, Bhattarai said he would bring in more support and material to the hospital for treating Covid patients and improving the existing infrastructure there.

 

Project Aarogya

Covid immunity booster kits worth ₹1.1 lakh and over 50,000 masks were distributed to vulnerable groups including paramedics, conservancy workers and underprivileged people under Project Aarogya by Rotary Bangalore Brigades, RID 3190. The Covid care kit was conceptualised by club president Ashwani Kinger, club members Bindu Cherian and Samba Murthy. It contains two cotton masks, calcium and Vitamin D3 tablets, Vit C tablets, paracetamol, sanitisers, liquid soap pack and guidelines in Kannada and English.

RC Salem South president R Mangeshwar and his team donate mortuary bags to the Government Hospital, Salem.
RC Salem South president R Mangeshwar and his team donate mortuary bags to the Government Hospital, Salem.

The club procures and distributes free medicines to health camps, PHCs, orphanages, old age homes and Rotary medical camps, says Kinger.

RC Bharuch, RID 3060, has implemented a global grant project worth $42,143 to donate touch-free and handpump sanitiser dispensers, N95 masks, oximeter, electronic ­thermometer, face shields and liquid sanitisers to hospitals, PHCs and police stations. PDG Ashok ­Kapadia, IPP Manish Poddar and club ­president Talkin Zamindar coordinated with their global partner RC Emory Druid Hills, US, for this mega project.

 

Covid crematorium

RC Ankleshwar, RID 3060, has set up a temporary cemetery called the Shantidham Rotary Smashan Gruh for cremating people who lost their lives to Covid and related complications. The administration took a decision to this effect after local people residing near the crematoriums at Bharuch, Ankleshwar and Borbhatha opposed the funeral of patients who had succumbed to Covid.

An acrylic Covid shield being installed at a police station by RC Coimbatore Vadavalli members.
An acrylic Covid shield being installed at a police station by RC Coimbatore Vadavalli members.

The Bharuch Nagarpalika has formed a four-member team that will be equipped with PPE kits to cremate the bodies. The furnace was donated by Rtn Bhupendra Shroff, project chair, Shantidham Rotary Smashan Gruh.

The crematorium, along with the local body, will bear the ­cremation costs, said Harish Joshi, project co-convener.

RC Akola Midtown, RID 3030, along with the Aurum Foundation, distributed masks and shields to Asha volunteers in the district to protect them against Covid infection.

 

Ventilators

Four ventilators were donated to the Government Medical College Hospital, Ramanathapuram, in the presence of district collector Dinesh Ponraj ­Oliver, and PDG Chinnadurai ­Abduallah by RCs Ramnad and Ramnad Royals, RID 3212. The global grant project was executed with the help of RC Lake Nona Lunch, US, RID 6980.

Rotary Bangalore Brigades president Ashwani Kinger donates medicines to the AiR Humanitarian Home.
Rotary Bangalore Brigades president Ashwani Kinger donates medicines to the AiR Humanitarian Home.

RC Coimbatore Vadavalli, RID 3201, has donated two acrylic Covid shields carrying the Rotary logo to the local police station to ensure safety of their personnel. The gesture was appreciated by the police inspector and his team.

 

Mortuary bags

Following a request from the dean of the Government Mohan ­Kumaramangalam Hospital, Salem, DG K S Venkatesan, RID 2982, requested his six AGs to contact their Rotary clubs for donating mortuary bags. Thirteen clubs in Salem have so far donated 806 mortuary bags and plastic rolls for about 500 deceased Covid patients at a cost of ₹3.5 lakh.

“District Covid chair Mohammed Elyas visits the GH every week to take stock of the body bags and make arrangements for its supply from Rotary, Inner Wheel clubs and other NGOs,” says R Mangeshwar, president, RC Salem South. The hospital dean Dr Balaji Nathan praised Rotary for its timely help in providing mortuary bags which prevent spread of the virus.

Pandemic relief for Detroit

A global collaborative project involving 15 Rotary clubs and Rotary districts is being led by RC Ann Arbor North, RID 6380, US, to provide Covid relief to some of the worst affected people in ­Michigan, US.

The Pandemic Relief for the Detroit project is worth $73,000 with funding from multiple districts, five clubs from Pune, Rotary Bangalore Brigades, Pioneer Medical Research Foundation, Pune, and support from the recently announced TRF’s co-sponsored global grant.

“Our sole objective is to support two dozen healthcare institutes and NGOs that alleviate human suffering in the Metro Detroit areas caused by the pandemic,” said Manish Mehta, project co-chair, RC Ann Arbor North. As a two-prong effort, the project will supply PPE kits to local hospitals, clinics and nursing homes; and in the second phase, cash assistance will be given to nine food banks serving the hardest-hit areas in Detroit and its neighbouring communities.

A donation of $15,000 was made by global Rotarians to Gleaners Community Food Bank at a zoom meet on Dec 15. This amount was matched by Kroger, an American retailer, as part of their Double Your Donation Day activities. “With these funds, Gleaners can supply 90,000 meals to feed Detroit’s vulnerable families this winter,” says Mehta.

“We are happy to do this reverse global grant, for usually clubs in the US and Canada help people in India and other developing countries. Now Pune clubs have come together to contribute to this Detroit Project,” says Makarand Phadke, president, RC Pune Metro, RID 3131. This contribution by Indian clubs was appreciated by RI secretary general John Hewko, he adds.

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