Atmanirbhar Bharat: Indians to Arrange Oxygen, Beds on Their Own?

As India’s healthcare crumbles, citizens are helping each other amidst the crisis. Is this the ‘Atmanibhar Bharat’?

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2 min read

Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
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Mohd. Irshad Alam/Shubham Khurana

For weeks now, social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, among others are filled with SOS messages from Indians pleading for medicines, oxygen, and hospital beds. Citizens are coming forward to help each other as the country’s backbone has been broken by the second wave of COVID. One can definitely ask, does ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mean everyone is on their own?

The state’s e-governance plans have been proven wrong. The big question is: What is Aarogya Setu App doing? An app for which no stones were unturned for its launch and publicity.

The fight that one would have assumed would have been fought by the government, is being fought by people like Srinivas BV, Kumar Vishwas, Anas Tanwir, Shaleen, and thousands of other fellow citizens who have turned out to be real COVID fighters. So, we need to ask this government named ‘SYSTEM’, ‘What’s going on?’

In India, coronavirus has exploded massively, which has resulted in the death of over 2 lakh people. Beds in hospitals are unavailable, medicine worth Rs 2,000 is being sold for Rs 40,000, and people are begging for medical oxygen supply.

The government claims that the situation is under control and there is no shortage of medical oxygen. It is difficult to understand how politicians who jump to answer every criticism are unable to see SOS calls by the people of India.

In April 2020, the government had launched Aarogya Setu app, which has over 10 crore downloads till date. When the app was launched, the Central government claimed that it would warn people of the virus. What was this app doing when the second wave hit the country? The app was made for tracing the virus. Did the government forget this app after creating it?

Other apps like Jan Aushadhi Sugam, Ayush Sanjeevani were also created to help increase immunity and create COVID awareness. Did they serve the purpose? The government needs to understand that its citizens need medicine, oxygen, and hospital beds instead of apps that don’t work.

While governments have fallen short on performing its duties, people like Gaurav Rai from Patna, Delhi’s Shariq and Wasim, and groups like Gurugram’s Hemkunt Foundation, Mumbai’s Phool Masjid Committee have stepped up.

Even healthcare workers who are fighting the virus from the frontline are being taken care of by people like Aakanksha Sadekar from Pune, who are serving food to the COVID warriors.

This also leads us to another question: Why a political party that has the biggest network over social media, which delivers its agendas to millions of people over WhatsApp, is unable to help the people of this country with hospital beds, oxygen, and medicines?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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