The second wave of the Covid pandemic has hit the country hard. Some families in need during this pandemic have to make over 50 phone calls till they can find Covid resources such as oxygen cylinder, concentrator, hospital bed or one of the many drugs now in the black market.
Many people have lost friends and relatives to Covid and everyone around us is struggling to cope with the feeling of helplessness, fear of uncertainty and the grief that accompanies loss. One of them said this about our research calls – “Right now, there are 100 times more claims for resources than the available resources. There are also 10 times more useless lists than actual resources.” Thus, verification of resources is the bulk of work when finding leads.
Right now, thousands of volunteers are working on-ground as well as online, trying to find resources for people who are in need of them. Many of them have previously been volunteers at our clean-ups and tree plantation drives, and we can feel the immense pressure they are under.
In our conversations with them, some of the things volunteers said they needed were care packages, masks, gloves, PPEs and oximeters. They also wanted to understand how their work can be structured, how to deal with grief when someone they have been helping passes away, and how to generally safeguard mental health using breathing exercises and meditation techniques.
With this in mind, Jhatkaa.org has launched the #Care4Care campaign, an initiative born out of conversations with some of our partner organisations and movements. This is our effort to contribute to the collective in these times and support volunteers logistically as well as emotionally as they help others during this pandemic. Under this campaign, we aim to provide whatever care we can rally to the volunteers who are putting in their time and energy to help Covid-hit individuals and their family.
Most of these volunteers are between the ages of 15 and 25, and are running purely on the energy of compassion and humanity. Many of them are experiencing burnout because they are constantly online, cross-checking, verifying and updating resources. Every 6 -12 hours, they go through the databases again and again, keeping an eye out for sources that have run dry. It is an emotionally overwhelming job and they need our support.
So how can all of us come together and make their work just a little bit easier?