Nav Arrow

Dr. Geetanjali Chopra

Dr Geetanjali Chopra started with delivering food packets and rations to tribal groups, slum areas and the destitute. Later, she exteneded her services to provide basic medicines to Rain Basera and women’s shelters, and even ambulance services with oxygen and an attendant. She also distributes hygiene kits on a biweekly basis to destitute families across four states — Assam, Delhi, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Despite being low on funds and manpower, this compassionate being continued to help everyone who reached out to her and is now also spreading awareness about a possible third wave and the precautions one should take.

Arup Sengupta

Arup Sengupta, a 70-year-old tuberculosis survivor was out on Kolkata streets daily, ensuring no one goes hungry. He provided ration kits to 40 families and 400 sex workers. Arup, who passed away a month ago, spent his days distributing rations and emergency kits in 21 villages of Sundarbans, positively impacting 1,100 families. Jhumki, his partner in the initiative, says, “He was not one to care about where his next meal would come from. If he had, say, Rs 20 in his wallet, he would keep Rs 5 to help him return home and give away the rest to the needy.”

Sana Khan

Sana Khan, a 32-year-old professor from Delhi, along with her students started Project ‘Rebuilding Livelihood’. Providing monthly assistance to families in the North-east part of the capital, Sana has helped them set up street shops and helped pregnant women with access to medical supplies. Despite the emotional turmoil she faces while fighting the sufferings of people, she helps people with cooked food, monetary help, finding jobs and helping hospitals as much as she can. All this while, isolating herself from her support system, her family! Contracting and battling COVID herself, only strengthened her determination to help more and more people.

Rinkesh Badlani

Rinkesh Badlani, a 24-year-old finance professional who returned to Ajmer after the second wave of COVID-19, has been instrumental in helping people by distributing ration kits. He along with a group of colleagues have contributed money from their own savings and put together ration kits that are distributed among the underprivileged. He has spent over a lakh to distribute 150 kits in the past month alone. Rinkesh makes it a point to personally deliver the kits. He also provides financial help for COVID-19 patients from his pocket and has been arranging ventilators and beds for those who call him.

Tarun Kappala

Hyderabad-based techie Tarun Kappala’s friend had to spend over Rs 34,000 to transport his aunt to the hospital, who eventually succumbed to COVID. He then realised the scarcity of ambulances and that is when he decided to purchase a van and convert it into a make-shift ambulance to help transport COVID patients. In the current circumstances, transporting patients in an ambulance costs between Rs 8,000 to Rs 35,000 and this cost goes higher in case of an inter-city or inter-state travel. Tarun, however, provides this service for free. He pays for all the expenses, including medical equipment inside the ambulance.

Manveer Singh

Manveer Singh, a 31-year-old resident of Jaipur, provides free meals twice a day to around 60 people. Manveer’s ‘Langar Seva’ bears the entire cost of preparing these meals. He feeds COVID positive families for 14 days of their recovery and delivers the meals to their doorstep. But he had to be isolated from his 4-month old daughter for days. When Manveer got food requests from places as far as 20 kilometers, he hired two delivery boys to help him deliver these meals. A few contributed funds for his work, which he used to buy rations for an orphanage in Jaipur.

Ankit Gupta

Since the beginning of May, Ankit Gupta, has been using social media to connect those who need help with trained psychologists. Having suffered from depression himself, Ankit has spent over a lakh of his own money to pay for the sessions of over 300 people. Apart from this, the 27-year-old has also distributed over 1,20,000 cooked food packets, dry ration to 800 families, 50,000 sanitary pads to underprivileged women in Delhi and raised Rs 2.5 crore in funds for people who have lost their jobs. He has worked 24×7 to help arrange hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and food deliveries too.

Nikhil Chawla & Neha Chawla

Nikhil Chawla and his wife, Neha, rescued the animals of Delhi by feeding stray dogs, cats and birds. Having lost out on their earnings and a few immediate family members to COVID, they decided to work through their own anxieties by helping those who do not have a voice. They now feed stray dogs as well as foster pets who have been abandoned by their pet parents after contracting COVID. Apart from their own pets, the couple was fostering about 30 dogs in their homes. They also hired construction workers who had lost their jobs to help with their initiative.

Mizga & Faiyaz Shaikh

Mizga and Faiyaz Shaikh from Mumbai used the personal savings they had put together to buy a house to help those in need. When that was over, they decided to use their provident fund money to ensure no one in their locality slept hungry! They have provided ration kits to 1,000 families and cooked food for over 15 COVID-19 patients. They also started a community kitchen to feed 500 people. The couple also bought sewing machines for women who had lost their livelihood to the deadly pandemic and waived off the fee for 300 children who studied in their school.

Varsha Verma

When Lucknow-based Varsha Verma’s friend passed away due to COVID-19 in April, she underwent huge challenges to find a vehicle to take his body to the crematorium. This experience pushed her to help people caught in similar situations. Since then, she has been tirelessly ferrying deceased patients for free and conducting their last rites. When even family members of deceased patients are fearful of performing the last rites of their dead loved ones, Varsha risks her life and makes countless trips between hospitals and crematoriums to ensure dignity for the dead. She has helped more than 1,500 people so far.

Yogesh Agarwal

As COVID-19 patients across the country struggled to find oxygen for themselves and their loved ones, Yogesh Agarwal, the owner of Rimjhim Ispat Factory in Hamirpur, Uttar Pradesh, decided to start refilling oxygen cylinders at Rs 1. The factory that produces stainless steel uses oxygen as a raw material. When Yogesh learnt of the need for oxygen for COVID-19 patients, he stopped producing steel and used the oxygen to fill cylinders instead. Till date, Yogesh has filled over 1,000 cylinders for people across Aligarh, Noida, Lucknow and Banaras, giving up all the business he would have gained in these days.

Nirvaan John

Nirvaan, a 12-year-old from Kochi, Kerala, had been reading about efforts undertaken by frontline warriors for over a year. The stories made him want to do something in return for them. He got in touch with a police lead from his area to understand their work, and with a group of friends, decided to make posters to encourage and applaud police officials in the city. At an age when most kids are staying home and playing, he spends time raising funds to provide police officers in Kochi with biscuits, glucose and water to help them sustain in the scorching heat.

Dr. Sunil Hebbi

Hailing from a village in Vijayapura district in Karnataka, Dr Sunil Hebbi has been well aware of the lack of access to adequate health care across India. In 2008, he started ‘Matru Siri Foundation’ and converted his car into a fully-equipped ‘Mobile Dr Clinic’. This clinic is serviceable around the clock. During COVID-19, he equipped the car with an oxygen cylinder and an ECG machine. Since May 2021, he has provided free medical services to over 25 COVID-19 patients a day. The hero works throughout the day to ensure healthcare reaches those who have the hardest time accessing it.

Najeeb Vellakkal

When Najeeb Vellakkal, who hails from Thrikkakara, Kochi, couldn’t find a vehicle to drop his COVID-19 positive friend to his hometown in Palakkad, he decided to convert his fleet of vans into ambulances. Najeeb, who runs a vehicle rental business, converted the vans by removing all the seats and replacing them with a single long one. He then separated the driver’s cabin using a plastic sheet. The vans are equipped with stretchers, oxygen cylinders and first aid kits. So far, he’s converted 15 of his vans so far, and has been providing free rides to COVID-19 patients across Kerala.

Jaymini M Joshi

Jayminiben Joshi, a 71-year-old resident of Dahod in Gujarat, spent more than half her life as a nurse in a government hospital, until she retired in 2009. So for her, dedicating her time to the sick and to those in need is nothing new. So when the COVID-19 pandemic struck India, she came out of her retirement to take up active nursing duty at Zydus Hospital, despite her age and the risks involved. She works 12 hours a day, administering medicines and oxygen, and taking samples for testing. The inspiring woman is determined to keep helping those who are ill.

Sourav Das, Lakmi Das & Chittranjan Biswas

When Sourav Das came home after buying a mask worth Rs 300, his mother Laxmi reprimanded him for wasting money on a mask that was not washable, reusable or even breathable. So Laxmi, a skilled seamstress, sourced fabric from her brother, Chittranjan Biswas and began stitching masks. Meanwhile, Sourav created a mask dispenser and began distributing masks for free among househelp, vendors and hawkers in Delhi. During the second wave, Sourav converted his bike into a mask dispenser and distributed 1,500 masks. Since the start of the pandemic, Sourav and his mother have distributed over 7,000 homemade masks for free.

Tariq Patloo

A resident of Srinagar’s Dal Lake, Tariq Ahmad Patloo contracted COVID-19 in August 2020, but couldn’t get medical attention as even his neighbours and friends refused to take him to the hospital in the city, which is only accessible by boat. The 50-year-old decided to build a floating ambulance to help COVID-19 patients in the community reach hospitals. The shikara ambulance is equipped with a loudspeaker which Tariq uses to make people aware about basic precautions. He also provides masks, oxygen cylinders and sanitizers for free. So far, he has helped 15 people reach hospitals with his floating ambulance.

Kulvinder Singh

Kulvinder Singh, a man from Jaipur, has been standing strong amid the adversities put forth by the pandemic, ever since it began in 2020. Moved by the plight of his fellow citizens who were suffering from COVID-19, Kulvinder launched Mission Oxygen. Under this, he has procured oxygen concentrators for 50 critically ill patients. He has also distributed 5,000 packets of food and 6,000 masks, sanitisers and medicine kits to people in need. Under his campaign Mission Safe Period, Kulvinder has also distributed 5,000 sanitary pads to women from less privileged backgrounds, providing timely assistance in an hour of crisis.