By Moin Qazi*
The catastrophe unfolding of the pandemic appears to be the worst-case scenario that many feared: the second wave coronavirus has rapidly slid into a devastating crisis as the disease continues to rampage. The infections have spread so fast that overwhelmed hospitals are unbearably full; medicine is running out; supplies of lifesaving oxygen running low and morgues have run out of space. The sick have been left stranded in interminable lines at hospital gates or at home, literally gasping for air.
But hope still shines in this dark tragedy as civil society has risen to the occasion with its cadres defying threats to their own safety to supplement the state’s efforts. An integral aspect of our collective response is that the pandemic has engendered a united resolve, and for some organizations, countering hate is an exercise in demonstrating love and compassion. In the face of the pandemic, Indians transcending barriers of class, caste, region and religion have spontaneously collaborated to support each other and those in need.
Several nationwide organisations, such as the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) have a long track record of being in the forefront of relief efforts. Their grassroots-based nationwide network is now being effectively leveraged. Coming to the rescue of people in Nagpur, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has set up an 86 bedded hospital for COVID patients in collaboration with the Nagpur administration. It has a full complement of relief team; MBBS doctors supported by Ayush doctors, GNM nurses, ANM nurses and housekeeping staff. The JIH has allied with Medical Service Society (MSS) — an organization which has taken up a number of other projects with the Jamaat.
Nagpur is the worst-hit district in Maharashtra. The entire system has collapsed and COVID has wreaked havoc. Every day 8000 new positive cases are reported in Nagpur Once known as the medical hub of central India; Nagpur is becoming the COVID hotspot. “At both the individual and institutional level, we have been serving our fellow citizens even before COVID-19. The magnitude of the challenge and the sheer plight of those in need have only strengthened our resolve to do more,” says Dr Anwaar Siddiqui, the President of the Nagpur unit of the Jamaat. Donning the full PPE, Dr. Siddiqui spends his greater day in supervising relief operations at the centre .
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also visited the Covid Health Centre. Lauding the role of Jamaat-e-Islami, and MSS, Fadnavis said, “Today our society needs such people and organisations who understand the pain and grief of people and who try to help them overcome their problems. We are glad to know that the Jamaat has come forward for this work and is trying to help out during this huge pandemic”.
The Jamaat is also supplying oxygen cylinders to patients through its various outlets. Dr Asif Khan ,the regional unit President (Nagpur West) is monitoring the operations. The Jamaat’s efforts got the much needed motivational oxygen when city’s transport tycoon Pyare Khan used his personal resources and logistical infrastructure to mobilize oxygen supplies from distant centres.