Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Camera: Shiv Kumar Maurya
From its very edifice, the Indian Youth Congress headquarters may seem like any other silent, politically privileged space in the heart of Lutyens’s Delhi, but tucked inside it is a ‘war-room’ that has been saving lives of critical COVID-19 by simple use of technology.
As the organisation’s National President Srinivas BV steps in to explain how the war-room works, his phone begins to vibrate – for the third time in a minute. “Sir, my sister is critical and needs injection,” the caller pleads, as Srinivas listens in with patience.
He then asks her where the patient is located and promises to send her help her.
Srinivas’ team has been monitoring social media, where requests with #SOSIYC have been pouring in from relatives and friends of patients – all in desperate search for oxygen, hospital beds, Remdesivir and blood plasma for their loved ones battling COVID-19.
The team of about 10 volunteers works in two shifts and is also engaged in food distribution. Last year, apart from helping migrant workers with ration, IYC had also helped workers by arranging their transport to states like UP and Bihar.
Srinivas explains that the moment a request is received on social media, his team segregates it into categories, depending on the state where it has been posted from. Following this, the relevant IYC team members in that region are informed.
- If a request is received for Delhi NCR, it is further divided on the nature of the demand. In case of queries regarding hospital beds in Delhi, the team keeps a tab on the Delhi government’s official website displaying real-time availability in hospitals. Using this data, the team reaches out to nodal officers for admission-related requests.
- For medicines like remdesivir, which have been in short-supply since the last one week, the team collects the patient’s COVID-19 report, doctor’s prescription and Aadhaar card and then reaches out to the nodal distribution officer.
While Srinivas says he receives some 100 calls in a day, a member of the war-room says that out of the 10,000-odd requests they receive on social media, they are only able to cater to few and not all.
Faced with a barrage of requests on a daily basis, Srinivas hopes that others will come forward and volunteer with his life-saving enterprise.