Indian Rotarians help fight the second Covid surge

PDG Deepak ­Shikarpur (2nd from left, back row) donating Covid kits to Pune mayor Murlidhar Mohol, along with members of Pune clubs.
PDG Deepak ­Shikarpur (2nd from left, back row) donating Covid kits to Pune mayor Murlidhar Mohol, along with members of Pune clubs.

With the second wave of Covid surge causing untold misery, leading to panic in hospitals and an overburdened healthcare system and government mechanisms all over the country, as the infected gasped for oxygen, Rotary clubs across India have joined hands with local authorities to set up treatment facilities and hold vaccination camps throughout the RI districts.

 

RC Gandhidham, RID 3054

In a span of 10 days, RC Gandhidham, RID 3054, set up a 40-bed Covid hospital at an unused building at Nagalpar, Anjar, a municipality in the Kutch district of Gujarat.

Anjar deputy collector Dr Vimal K Joshi sent his tahsildar A M Mandori to meet the club members with a request to set up a hospital with oxygen beds on an emergency basis to accommodate the increasing number of Covid patients. On the 63rd charter day of the club, a seven-member project team lead by club president Ghela Ahir visited the site and formulated a plan to install a Covid hospital at this vacant building in Nagalpar. “We assigned different roles to Rotarians and started to work. The project was divided into two phases with the target to create 80 oxygen beds. In the first phase, we focused on the development of two separate wards for males and females with 36–40 Covid beds,” said Ahir.

Project team of RC Gandhidham at the inauguration of Covid Hospital in Anjar.
Project team of RC Gandhidham at the inauguration of Covid Hospital in Anjar.

While the total project estimate was ₹50 lakh, the district administration led by Joshi assured the club that Indian Oil, Kandla, will contribute ₹25 lakh for the Covid hospital. Before moving in the medical equipment, the old building was given a new look following a thorough clean-up of its rooms and premises, painting of walls, repair work, installing electrical fittings like tube lights, fans, oxygen lines, fire safety and other hospital accessories.

The Nani Nagalpar panchayat led by sarpanch Samjibhai deputed a team to assist the club members at the site in completing the first phase of the project in a record time of 10 days. ­Gujarat minister for social and backward classes Vasanbhai Ahir, local MLA Maltiben Maheshwari and district collector Pravina D K visited the project site and appreciated the “wholehearted contributions of Rotarians in setting up the Covid hospital.”

RID 3211 DG Thomas Vavanikunnel (L) visiting a Rotary Covid vaccination centre in Kerala.
RID 3211 DG Thomas Vavanikunnel (L) visiting a Rotary Covid vaccination centre in Kerala.

All the infrastructure, related network and feeder lines including oxygen supply, running water, toilet blocks and other amenities were made available for Covid patients. “All went according to plan and in 10 days we opened the 36-bed fully-oxygenated hospital after testing the oxygen and fire safety lines in the presence of Anjar SDM Joshi and other district officials,” said Ghela Ahir. His entire team is extremely satisfied for completing in time a crucial emergency project.

 

RC Howrah, RID 3291

RC Howrah, RID 3291, met its three- fold objectives — creating awareness on Covid vaccination, addressing local resistance due to misinformation and providing logistic support to the ­government — by giving free inoculation of Covishield doses to residents and club members.

Haryana deputy speaker Ranbir Gangwa (3rd from right) and Hisar mayor Gautam Sardana (2nd from left) at the inauguration of oxygen therapy machines.
Haryana deputy speaker Ranbir Gangwa (3rd from right) and Hisar mayor Gautam Sardana (2nd from left) at the inauguration of oxygen therapy machines.

Club president Dr Pamela Ghosh, in partnership with the local administration, arranged Covid shots at the club hall. A team led by Rtn Dr Monosij Dhara helped in giving the required doses. “We tried to cover all our members above 60, district Rotarians and spouses of our members, besides local residents, in our vaccination drive,” said Dr Pamela. Over 100 people were vaccinated.

The medical team was assisted by club members including Dr Dhara, vice-president Dr Debasis Sanyal, past president Dr D K Datta and Dr Guru Prasad Bhattacharjee.

 

RC Sunam, RID 3090

RC Sunam, RID 3090, gave free doses to 120 persons at its Rotary Complex, Sunam. Dr Munish Gupta and a five-member medical team from the Civil Hospital rendered this service at the vaccination camp. Club president Rakesh Singla, project chair Ashok Goyal, Rtns Vaneet Garg, Kamal Garg and Haridev Goyal took care of the logistics and Covid-appropriate behaviour was maintained at the venue. A selfie stand was put up for those inoculated to take snaps and spread the message across social media.

The club also installed four automatic hand sanitiser machines at the sub-divisional complex, Cheema, and in three schools in Sheron and Sunam including the Rotary Public School. President Singla along with project chair Subhash Katyal, Naveen Garg and Devinderpal Singh, was present at the project sites. The club is making efforts to sensitise the public on handwashing, wearing mask and observing social distance to prevent the spread of the virus. Rtn Shiv Jindal is leading this awareness campaign.

 

RC Tellicherry, RID 3202

Down south in Kerala, RC ­Tellicherry, RID 3202, jointly ­organised a ­vaccination camp with the Iritty ­Municipality and the taluk hospital on two days (April 9, 16) at the Falcon Plaza auditorium, Iritty, 40km from ­Tellicherry. “We provided the logistic support and few of our Rotarians were present at the camp in which around 2,700 persons were vaccinated,” said past president Raveendranathan. DG Harikrishnan Nambiar inaugurated a free vaccination camp at the Mallya Hospital, Kasaragod, which drew a good response from the local people. Rotary clubs in Kerala have done over one lakh free vaccinations till April 30 at their Rotary centres and special camps across RIDs 3201, 3202
and 3211.

PDG Hariprasad Somani at the launch of Project Mission Oxygen in Latur.
PDG Hariprasad Somani at the launch of Project Mission Oxygen in Latur.

Following acute shortage of pulse oximeters in the state the Kerala government has launched a “pulse oximeter challenge’ urging people to lend their pulse oximeters to hospitals temporarily for monitoring oxygen levels of Covid patients. Rotary’s Covid coordinators are mobilising these equipment through Rotary clubs of the three districts.

 

RCs Pune East, Pune Shivajinagar, Pune Downtown, RID 3131

Following a request from Pune mayor Murlidhar Mohol, three clubs — RCs Pune East, Pune Shivajinagar and  Pune Downtown, RID 3131 — along with Rtn Prabhakar Batwal donated 20,000 masks, 500 litres of sanitisers and 1,000 PPE kits to Covid warriors including over 10,000 contract workers of the city corporation. The project was executed in partnership with RMB (Rotary Means Business), Pune circle. The corporation will distribute these anti-Covid kits to the frontline workers including conservancy staff. RPIC Deepak Shikarpur, a past governor, district service director Shital Shah and other Rotarians were present at the hand-over event. Later Mohol tweeted to thank Rotary clubs for donating the protective kits.

 

RC Amreli Gir, RID 3060

An oxygen bank was started by RC Amreli Gir, RID 3060, in just three days with liberal donations from Rotarians and philanthropists. This bank has 55 oxygen cylinders of 15kg capacity, six jumbo cylinders of 35kg capacity and two oxygen concentrators. “This oxygen bank is serving needy patients and so far more than 320 people had benefited from it,” said Pratik ­Sanghrajka, a club member. RID 3060 has given 62,000 doses at 11 Rotary vaccination centres, 21 adopted centres and 44 vaccination camps across the district.

 

Rotary clubs in Latur, RID 3132

Five clubs in Latur, RID 3132, came together to start Project Mission Oxygen last year during the first lockdown. They purchased 15 oxygen concentrators and chose an NGO Savarkar Rugna Sewa to handle the delivery of these machines to needy patients. ­District collector G ­Shrikant and Mayor Vikrant Gojamgunde were the chief guests at the launch of these machines.

A token amount of ₹50 per day is charged for a machine (as against ₹500 a day in the market) which is delivered only after the doctor’s advice. So far, 80 patients had benefited from oxygen concentrators. The clubs will procure five more machines with rising Covid cases in Latur. PDG Dr Hariprasad Somani is the chief promoter of Mission Oxygen which is being led by project chair Sudhir Lature and his deputy Raj Dhoot.

 

RC Hisar, RID 3090

Three high-flow oxygen therapy machines (₹9 lakh) were donated to the Sevak Sabha Charitable Trust by RC Hisar. Club president Mohit Gupta, secretary Anand Bansal and project chair Arvind Bansal coordinated for the success of the project. “These machines offer effective treatment for Covid patients, especially those in the second or third stage. They perform the functions of ventilators in saving lives by providing oxygen support,” said Rtn Naveen R Garg from RID 3090.

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