As the pandemic rages unshackled across India, certain social media COVID-19 warriors have come forward to try holding the fort up online. In the face of resource depletion – including basic health necessities like hospital beds, medicines and oxygen – these influencers are making use of their thousand-count following on the internet to maximise the reach of resources and emergency patient requirements.
Twitter, these past few days, has become a hotbed of helplines, with common users and many popular personalities alike mustering up their time and effort to connect those in need to the right resources. Lauding the selfless labour of these social media COVID-19 warriors is also coming undercut with the concern that regular folk are having to shoulder responsibility that largely belongs to elected representatives.
While there is still a general sense of discontent online towards big accounts and celebrities for using their privilege to look at their audience only as a lucrative business, especially in light of these influencers who came under the scanner recently, it comes as a heaving sigh of relief that at least some – if not all – have risen to the moment. Out of hundreds of unsung heroes, here we look at some.
Social Media COVID-19 Warriors Striving For Change In These Trying Times:
1. Disha Ravi (@disharavii)
She came to international attention just earlier this year for her reported involvement in a protest toolkit meant to amplify farmers’ causes. At only 22, the activist was arrested, nationally vilified, condemned, slut-shamed for being “anti-national.” Today, Disha Ravi, with her Fridays For Future (India chapter) is taking the fore by continuously collating and dispersing information that is helping connect many patients across India to resources that could save their lives.
📢NATIONWIDE COVID RESOURCES UPDATE:
We've managed to collate all the information and verify it. We have it for 14 cities so far along with state & national helplines. We hope this helps: https://t.co/Jvx0QTKteN
AMPLIFY 🌻 https://t.co/gHRdUX0Kxd
— Disha Ravi 𓆉 (@disharavii) April 18, 2021
2. Aanchal Agrawal (@awwwnchal)
Aanchal Agrawal has over 37000 followers on Twitter, many of which have sought out her account only in these past few days for the effort she has been expending on finding oxygen supplies, medicines and hospital beds for those messaging her. A social media funnywoman known primarily for her Instagram reels, Agrawal doesn’t forget to intersperse her relentless COVID-19 efforts online with a little bit of light humour that everyone needs to remain afloat amid the chaotic news and doomscrolling.
Mujhe MADHYA PRADESH KE REMEDISIVIR aur TOCILIZUMAB ke leads do pic.twitter.com/SuAmrj8Yh6
— Aanchal Agrawal (@awwwnchal) April 20, 2021
Some social media COVID-19 warriors making an active difference
3. Tisca Chopra (@tiscatime)
Even among the painfully small fraction of celebrities from the film industry using their platform to voice the voiceless, Tisca Chopra figures near the very top. Daily, she amplifies several requests for medicine or plasma or oxygen, even going the extra mile to detail individual pleas in an orderly manner. Making real-time impact shoulder-to-shoulder with the online public, Chopra has shown that celebrities shouldn’t really see themselves as a cut above the rest. Watch her in conversation with SheThePeople.
I'm overwhelmed by the whatsapp forwards, tweets & appeals for help that are all over our social media feeds..
— Tisca Chopra (@tiscatime) April 15, 2021
4. Jasmin Kaur (@jazzmatazz23)
A jewellery and make-up artist, Jasmin Kaur, along with her husband Pankaj, has been actively sharing and resharing emergency requests of medical needs she is being sent. The couple, alongside other accounts with a thousands-strong following like Srishty Ranjan, Anandita, Sreya Vittaldev, seem to be working round the clock to match patients to resources. These unsung heroes are even keeping the resource repository functional, by consistently verifying the information coming their way.
07947210671 – Ramsharan ji, Ambica surgical shop
He has oxygen cylinders but no accesories.
This guy : 9910196665
He has oxygen cylinders but no regulators of other accessories.
— Jasmin 🇮🇳 (@jazzmatazz23) April 20, 2021
5. Bhumi Pednekar (@bhumipednekar)
Another Bollywood celebrity using her wide reach for the public good, Bhumi Pednekar successfully battled COVID-19 earlier this month. Following her recovery, she announced her decision to help in amplifying resources on her social media handles. “This initiative is my small contribution to the huge battle that lies ahead of us,” she wrote recently. Her Instagram stories are brimming with calls for help for affected people, with a list of all information saved on her highlights.
— bhumi pednekar (@bhumipednekar) April 19, 2021
6. Mallika Dua (@MallikaDua)
On Instagram, Mallika Dua, actor and popular stand-up comic, hasn’t missed a beat in amplifying resources, helpline numbers, food networks and medical requirements from people desperate for COVID-19 help. In lighter moments, she has kept viewers smiling with her signature style comedy shorts fans so enjoy. A highlight of COVID-19 resources is kept compiled on her social media page.
7. Janice Sequeira (@janiceseq85)
Anchor and host Janice Sequeira has been at the social media frontline in coordination with other warriors, helping resource outreach and sourcing in a big way. Along with her team, she is relentlessly contributing to the cause with her accounts on Twitter and Instagram reflecting updates on little else.
Kiran, you are too too too kind 🙏🏻 ♥️ https://t.co/iU3cnzFXAg
— Janice Sequeira (@janiceseq85) April 28, 2021
8. Leher Sethi (@LeherSethi)
Columnist and public speaker Leher Sethi hasn’t just been using her reach to help people connect with resources, but also to question the lax in administration and governance in dealing with the health crisis. She has been alert in calling out faulty machinery, lack of hospital facilities and shortcomings in the healthcare system exacerbating the pandemic’s effect in India.
These pictures & videos were sent by a COVID volunteer @AryanAh66409624 who’s in touch with patients at this hospital in Baliya!
No one knows how to use the ones that are set up while many lie gathering dust in store rooms!
These ventilators need to be used to save lives! pic.twitter.com/2EQDIIxP8y
— Leher Sethi (@LeherSethi) May 13, 2021