The surge in cases during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic led to an unexpected medical crisis. The shortage of oxygen proved to be a major obstacle in the treatment process leading to fatalities across the country.
Dhruval Patel, who lost his wife Neha due to an oxygen shortage in Ahmedabad, is now planting trees in her memory in an attempt to replenish the oxygen in nature. He and his 15-year-old son have pledged to nurture these trees to pay her a unique homage.
Patel is a resident of Anand, Ahmedabad, and has planted more than 450 trees along with his son, according to a report by The Times of India. He is a paint contractor by profession.
Neha succumbed to the disease on May 12 at 9.35 AM, gasping for breath. It has been difficult for the family to live without her as all their efforts to save her went in vain.
Patel shared that he tested positive for the coronavirus. During the time, his father and son also tested positive apart from Neha. The only person not infected was his mother. Neha's condition deteriorated very fast, and she needed critical care on the third day of infection.
Taking The Pledge
"The pledge had started at Sidhpur where I had been to perform Neha's post-death rites. The Brahmin there asked us to take a pledge to plant and sustain at least three trees. Giving reason for the pledge, he told us that the wood used to cremate our bodies is not planted by us – it's a gift of someone else. Thus, we must pay it forward," Patel said.
"His words touched me, and I decided not to stop at three," he added.