The COVID-19 pandemic has found the entirety of the nation on the back foot, with its infections affecting each person both directly and indirectly. Amidst the massive onslaught of the virus, the state machinery of each region has come to a standstill and is on the verge of absolute collapse.
The state machinery’s hearkening collapse comes at a time when hospitals have run out of beds and oxygen cylinders have become the dream of the privileged.
The second wave of the pandemic snatched away myriad objects, both material and immaterial while instilling in us a certain something that we have seldom felt for our fellow human brethren.
This slated ‘certain something’ can be deemed as something as raw as camaraderie, however, I would choose to term it as something that is as pure as the brotherhood.
In that same spirit, I take you to the City of Joy, Kolkata, wherein many individuals not unlike you and I, have joined hands to tackle the virus that has taken the city by storm. These individuals have enabled the facilitation of COVID and non-COVID resources by the hundreds, saving many in their wake.
At the forefront of this social movement of societal rehabilitation are two NGOs- Cholo Paltai and Shareerspeak- which devised the Calcutta Anti-COVID Belt.
Calcutta Anti-COVID Belt: All For One And One For All
Every city has formed its COVID-19 tackling initiative from the ground up owing to the crumbling state of our healthcare system. However, the Calcutta Anti-COVID Belt has structured itself on the basic premise of ‘all for one and one for all.’
This phrase essentially seeks to provide context into the belief of the members of the CACB that the country will only thrive as one.
Thus, the CACB took upon the daunting task of having COVID and non-COVID resources being made available to each and every member of the society requiring it. From hospital beds to injections to oxygen cylinders, the members of the Anti-COVID Belt looked after the needs of anyone who came calling.
Coupled with that, their philanthropy and need to support their fellow men ignited their fuel to save the many lives that they already have until now.
However, the inception of the Calcutta Anti-COVID Belt, isn’t as grandiose, as one may believe. The NGOs of Chalo Paltai and Shareerspeak had already engrossed themselves in the daily toil of widespread resourcing.
Gathering details concerning the availability of beds, oxygen cylinders, medicines, alongside a plethora of other things, they were practically looking after it all by themselves.
During this course of strenuous work, they realized that they needed a workforce in the fifties to have work done successfully and without hassle, and from this emerged the Calcutta Anti-COVID Belt.
The Calcutta Anti-COVID Belt had then begun with around 50 members on board. In the space of around two weeks, the number of members had increased from 50 to 900, with more than a hundred phone calls coming each day, with fifty more asking for help.
As one of the focal members, Arjama Bakshi states, “ I personally did not think that this would help but we are getting calls from all over Calcutta, and even from other districts outside Calcutta, asking for leads and resources and we are happy that we were able to save people according to our capability.”
Working For The Country- Calcutta Anti-COVID Belt
The two NGOs, Chalo Paltai and Shareerspeak, initiated by Anumit Lahiri and Arjama Bakshi, alongside Arth Agarwal, who are all native to the city of Kolkata. Thus, much like how it goes in the City of Joy, they have vowed to spread the same joy to every corner of India.
Through CACB, they were instrumental in spreading the aforementioned joy by helping every other district in Bengal, alongside cities outside the borders of Bengal, with widespread resourcing. From Delhi to Bihar, they ensured that the ailing patients were privy to the resources that they required, the work often overstepping the bounds of late nights.
They were aware of the immense responsibility that they had shouldered and yet they did not let that hinder their work. Both Chalo Paltai and Shareerspeak, thus, initiated a fundraiser for a patient’s operation based out of Lucknow, which they facilitated through the Calcutta Anti-COVID Belt. The group, composed mainly of school students and college students, successfully raised a sum of 2 lakhs INR for the patient’s treatment.
On that note, the co-founder of CACB, Arjama Bakshi, has announced that they are wishing to begin another fundraiser to make resourcing much more accessible to others, irrespective of where they reside.
And, I can’t help but salute the amount of work that they have done thus far.
Image Sources: Google Images, NGOs’ Social Media
Sources: Times of India, Blogger’s own experience
Connect with the blogger: @kushan257
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