Inspired by the help he received from society when his brother was battling cancer, a 29-year-old management graduate from Sahibabad near Delhi is now arranging medical aid for people amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dawar Naqvi and his friend Amir Abbas has been helping people get oxygen, medicines, and doctors' consultations for the past one month now. Running around in PPE kits, Naqvi and his friends have helped many people.
Naqvi's brother Mannu died of blood cancer in 2018. In his last days, Mannu required blood donations for platelets, plasma, and white blood cells. Naqvi approached some of his friends, and many came forward also, but several people he didn't even know also came forward and donated blood. Naqvi draws his inspiration from those unknown people who helped him three years ago.
"In the last nine days of my brother's life, I managed 19 donations of platelets, white blood cells, and plasma as he required. Out of those 19, I only knew eight people. The rest were strangers who had helped us. I remember getting a call from a man in Hyderabad who was ready to fly to Delhi to help us. This is a sort of payback for me," Naqvi told The Hindu.
Naqvi helps people who either don't have any resources at their disposal and cannot take care of themselves or cannot afford medical aid. People share their needs through a WhatsApp group — GTY (Get Together Youth) — which Naqvi and his friends manage.
Naqvi said they bought a few oxygen cylinders earlier when it was much cheaper. Now, with the help of his brother, who runs an HVAC [Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning] business, the group refills the large oxygen cylinder and gives the empty cylinder to people in need, who then refill it by themselves.
For medicines, they are facilitating home delivery, but to only those who have a valid prescription. "Initially, we were also providing Remdisivir vials because one of my cousins is a distributor of the drug.
But we stopped doing so after the government said it would only be given to hospitals. Most importantly, a few people who took from us further sold it at exorbitant prices, which became a primary reason for us to stop," he said.
Apart from the material aid, they have also provided consultation to around 1,000 patients online. Dr Abbas and his circle of doctor friends help them in try to help patients.
"But it's very tough to satisfy patients' families and attendants online because so many of them start asking questions. But we understand because everyone is scared," he added.