B’luru Woman Helps Deliver Essentials to the Elderly Amid COVID-19
From delivering medicines to helping an aged couple stock supplies, ‘Caremongers India’ helps the elderly get by
Mahita Nagaraj’s ‘caremongering’ initiative first came about when a friend of hers, living abroad, called her with a request to help out the latter’s aged parents on Sarjapur road in Bengaluru a few days ago. In Karnataka, a partial statewide shutdown that was meant to last a week, has now been extended till 31 March.
“Both of my friends’ parents are over 80 years old, and they weren’t able to get some provisions that they needed. So, I readily bought some things and dropped them off. Then, I got a call from another friend who wanted me to check in on her folks. It was about 2-3 days into the partial shutdown that a few people started worrying and stocking up on supplies. That’s when I decided to post on Facebook,” said the digital marketing professional, who started ‘Caremongers India’ in an attempt to help elderly folk in self-isolation.
Karnataka has been under a virtual lockdown since 13 March, after chief minister BS Yediyurappa ordered malls, schools, cinema halls, colleges and public events to shut down. He also asked the public to restrict movement and stay indoors. in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. As of 19 March, Thursday, the virus has already infected 15 people in the state.
So far, hundreds of people have joined the Facebook group – volunteering to deliver food, medicine, groceries or even to run errands to those in need. They have also reached out to Mahita offering their time.
ATM withdrawals, delivering baby formula to a mom who’d run out and delivering medicines to patients of heart disease and hypertension is some of the work already done by the group.
New members to the group are also posting their addresses and locations, in order to help Mahita connect the person in need of help to a volunteer easily.
“We’ve made a handful of deliveries in the last two days. People are also sending me requests anonymously to help. This morning I was easily able to connect two people who needed help in Kanakpura. I am glad our network is growing. We ensure that there is no contact and the deliveries are dropped off with the security or outside the door,” she said.
People normally just transfer the money before or after the delivery is made, depending on the task. “I helped an old couple stock their whole house with everything from cleaning products to dal. I’ve also delivered medicines to patients with co-morbidity like hypertension, diabetes etc. It’s gratifying,” she said.
Mahita added that the volunteers would help anyone who was unable to step out or get the things themselves. “People obviously know how to use Dunzo in this day and age. So, if there is someone who still needs help, we will definitely do it,” she said.
“I helped a sweet 80-year-old man today who told me that there was no money in the ATMs around his house. So, I withdrew some cash and delivered it to him in an envelope. It was nothing for me, and he easily sent me the amount later,”Mahita Nagaraj
Mahita added that the initiative was not restricted to Bengaluru, but that she had received volunteering offers from Chennai, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Noida.
“We ensure that the entire process is contact-less. This is just to help people, with a bit of extra time we all have now. It’s a community leaning on each other,” she said.
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