Coronavirus pandemic is not just about the virus itself. It has brought with it hunger, loneliness, homelessness, violence and domestic abuse. At such a time, there are people around the country rising to lead community work, bring support and service the people selflessly in different ways they can. These bravehearts, are our true Corona Warriors. We have got you a list of 27 such people and teams at work. If you have such a story to share, do write to us at [email protected]
Mahita Nagaraj started Caremongers India, under which volunteers provide medicines and grocery to senior citizens, needy and physically challenged people. “Everyone’s sitting at home, if there’s something you can to ease somebody’s else life, then why not?” she told SheThePeople in an interview. Mahita’s story is inspirational, and she has now started living away from her family to ensure she doesn’t carry any infection to them while doing this community work. You can also read a detailed interview with her.
Minal Dakhave Bhonsle
Minal Dakhave Bhonsle, who created India’s first coronavirus testing kit, is a virologist who will now go down in history as the woman who gave India its first coronavirus testing kit. She is the research and development chief at Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions. Bhonsle also has experience of working on the swine flu at NIV, Pune. Read more about her ground breaking work here.
Captain Swati Rawal
Captain Swati Rawal was the commander of Air India 777 which flew to Rome to rescue the Indians stranded in the Italian capital. The mission withdrew 263 Indians from Italy. Impressed? And mind numbing. She is indeed cool. More on her, on this link.
Dr Shifa Mohammed
Dr Shifa Mohammed from Kerala decided to postpone her wedding and chose to treat her COVID-19 afflicted patients struggling for life. “Marriage can wait, but not my patients”, she said. Read how she prioritised her duty over personal life
Titiksha Kashyap, a 22-year-old student of the IIMC Delhi, is working with NGOs who are actively serving the daily wagers and other people in need. The NGOs provide food to the stray dogs, old-age homes and the daily wage earners. She lives in a society in Noida where the inhabitants are collecting and distributing food to the daily wage earners nearby as well.
Kirti Mittal, 21-year-old BA law student living in Ganganagar, Rajasthan, is setting an example by joining her family in distributing food packages to people in need. Her family has also given paid leave to their house helps and the labourers working in their factory.
Anita Hirani has been inspiring the masses by volunteering and providing free meals for the elderlies and the vulnerable in Mumbai. She has been cooking food at her own house and supplying them to the needy elderlies amidst the coronavirus crisis.
Aanchal Narang has taken the responsibility of providing for and protecting sex workers. Narang raised a fund to support and provide for the essential needs of the sex workers in Kamathipura, Mumbai. Here’s more on how she perceived the idea.
Datta Ram Patil
Datta Ram Patil, a farmer in Nashik donated wheat he harvested from one of his three-acre lands to those in need. He is a poor farmer but his financial situation didn’t prevent him from helping others.. This corona warrior’s story will make you believe in humanity
Sixty-year-old Abdul Khader is a retired telephone operator at Al Ain University in Dubai. He is spending around Rs 8,000 every day to provide for 131 migrant workers stuck in Kerala. Khader has lodged these workers in 10 large rooms, equipped with fans, television sets and a toilet. He has also been providing them with food twice a day.
Preeti Sudan is a 1983 batch IAS officer from the Andhra Pradesh cadre. Sudan’s ministry is playing a pertinent role in fighting the present coronavirus challenge. She, along with Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, coordinates with sister departments in the central and state government. The two conduct regular reviews of the evolving situation.”She also played a major role in the evacuation of the 645 students from Wuhan, China,” the official added.
Dr Nivedita Gupta
Gupta works in the Division of Epidemiology & Communicable Diseases and is in-charge of viral diseases at the country’s apex health research department. Her primary responsibility is building testing and treatment protocols in India. She has played an instrumental role in augmenting the COVID-19 diagnostic capacity all across the country. Under her leadership, over 130 laboratories in the government sector and 52 laboratories in the private sector were roped in to diagnose novel coronavirus cases.
Swarup has been working at the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for the past 30 years. At present, she is busy scaling up the manufacturing capacity of start-ups that have designed low-cost testing kits and ventilators for battling against COVID-19.
Abraham leads the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. The NIV has succeeded in reducing the testing time of COVID-19 samples to just four hours a sample from 12-14 hours. Under Abraham’s leadership, the NIV helps labs with troubleshooting ensuring reagent supplies to the network of labs.
Arun Kumar Singh
Arun Kumar Singh, a police inspector on medical leave has started his community kitchen in Lucknow’s Gomti Nagar area and he runs it with the help of other cops and government officials to provide food packets to the needy.
Trilok Babu, the owner of a Chennai eatery, Dosa Corner, is giving away free packets of food including rice, sambhar, rasam, buttermilk and pickle.
Saibaa and Saisha Gupta
Two school students in Jammu, Saibaa and Saisha Gupta are making the best use of their talent to create awareness in the society about the importance of social distancing amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. The twin sisters recently composed a song on coronavirus which went viral on social media. In their song, Saibaa and Saisha Gupta asked people to adhere to the lockdown norms and maintain social distancing to defeat the new coronavirus.
Shruti Dandekar, a quilter who lives in Sangli District made 10,000 reusable cotton masks along with her team and gave it to the police authorities for use and distribution. “It feels good to be useful in times of a crisis like this,” says the award-winning entrepreneur who spent a lot of her time exploring how to make masks at home via videos. Know more about her initiative here
Khalida Begum, an 87-year-old woman from Jammu and Kashmir, donated her savings 0f Rs 5 lakhs to Sewa Bharti Organisation for those coronavirus survivors who are in need.
Anoop Khanna, Founder of Dadi Ki Rasoi in Noida has been distributing medicines, clothes and grocery to the needy people who aren’t able to step out of the houses.
Fasil Ali from Bandipore in Jammu and Kashmir is feeding the poor people. He is also engaged in making temporary protective gears for medical staff. A lot of volunteers are also working with him for the same.
Uday Modi, who runs a tiffin service for the elderly in Mira Road and Bhayandar, fulfils the dual task of feeding his regular customers and the new ones who are contacting him in times of crisis. He has procured special permission to deliver food free-of-cost to over 250 senior citizens. He provides six chapattis, dal and sabzi for two meals. Helped by a team of dozen local volunteers who deliver the food to the doorstep of the recipients, in a tempo. He is, however, facing problems in arranging for grocery.
Dr Sachin Nayak is a Bhopal Doctor who has been living out of his car to protect his family from coronavirus. The car is parked near the hospital he works in. He has stocked up his daily use items and books in the car.
She is a 95-year-old woman from Mizoram has donated her monthly pension to the state’s Chief Minister Relief Fund. She is now stitching masks for nurses and doctors in her area.
Our team of nurses and doctors
The Open Library Team
This is a story of a community library that is now providing rations to the families of village children who attended it every Sunday to read. The Open Library was run out of a home, for children of Silokra basti in Gurgaon who didn’t have access to books. “These kids go to Anganwadi and government schools, and some don’t attend school at all,” says Gauri Rao, who founded the library.
“When the lockdown happened and our library was shut, we realised this was going to be a long haul. We figured the library won’t open for a while. When I decided to reach out to call the kids to see how I could get some books to them, the parents told us their hardships of not having enough to eat through the lockdown. So we decided to run a campaign to raise funds and give weekly delivery of dry rations to families that didn’t have access to food or enough food. We intend to do it for as long as it takes before these families can return to their usual income flow. We have already done three weeks of distribution.” The team is led by Gauri Rao, a lawyer by profession along with Rita, Suren, Smriti, Priyanka and Venkat.
These corona do-gooders display humanity at its best. This list is not a comprehensive one and we know there are many corona warriors out there making an impact, driving change and contributing to community welfare. We salute all the corona do-gooders in India who are writing a new chapter in humanity during these unprecedented times of a pandemic.