Nav Arrow

CDR Rajiv Sardana & Family

As the second wave of COVID-19 left hospitals across Delhi overwhelmed hospitals, and people struggled to find oxygen, a retired submarine electrical engineer decided to step up to help those in need. He did so by providing oxygen in his car. Cdr Sardana and his wife, Archana Sardana, converted their own car into a small oxygen tanker. This could hold three jumbo cylinders with a total capacity of over 20,000 litres of oxygen. The couple reached out to those who were left helpless amid the second wave. So far, they have delivered oxygen to over 100 cylinders across the city.

Sharif Bhai Ghanchi

As the first lockdown displaced millions, carpenter Sharif Bhai Ghanchi decided to help those less fortunate than him. From distributing food and medicines to sanitising public places such as police stations and hospitals free of cost — Sharif Bhai has helped over 200 people. The Ahmedabad-based 43-year-old, along with a team of 10, began assisting migrant workers left stranded in Gujarat. To date, he has distributed 70 food kits and 1,500 masks. Sharif Bhai continues to help migrant workers during the second wave of the pandemic and has performed the last rites for 37 people who passed away from COVID-19.

Naveen Chaturvedi

A feeling of helplessness motivated Gurugram-based entrepreneur Naveen Chaturvedi to step up and help people in his hometown, Bhiwandi, Maharashtra. At the onset of the second wave, he reached out on social media to provide COVID relief services across Bhiwandi. From ambulance services to distribution of essentials such as medicines, food and oxygen cylinders, Naveen has gone out of his way to help those in need. So far, he has helped over 20 people get a hospital bed and over 50 people get other facilities. He has also been spreading awareness about vaccination and helping people register for it.

Kapil Kumar

For the past three months, Delhi-based Kapil Kumar has dedicated himself to working on a project that provides centralised pan-India information about resources and services relating to COVID-19 relief. They have launched an online platform, This digital initiative went live in April and since then has helped thousands of people find credible information about the availability of oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, medicines, plasma, and more. They have been using the website and several social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to find people in need and reach out with help in the form of verified information.

Himanshu & Twinkle Kalia

Last year in May, Twinkle Kalia, an ambulance driver in Delhi, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her treatment continued up until March 2021, when after radiation, doctors advised that she take complete bed rest. But Twinkle, who has spent the last 20 years providing free ambulance services with her husband, Himanshu, was not ready to rest amid the chaos of COVID-19. The duo put in all their efforts to help as many people amid the pandemic as possible. They have provided their services to over 1,000 COVID-19 patients and also performed last rites for over 150 deceased COVID patients.

Mahendar Reddy

Mahendar Reddy lost a friend and business partner who was too afraid to seek treatment for COVID-19. After that tragedy, he started wondering what he could to help out those in need – especially those reluctant to seek medical help. Mahender, who works in real estate and runs a girls’ hostel, began ferrying COVID patients to the hospital on his scooter. Despite falling ill himself, he continues to give free rides to patients in Hyderabad. During the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, Mahendar ferried over 300 patients to hospitals. In 2021, he helped over 100 people get medical attention.

Lama Thupstan Chogyal

Last year, at the onset of the pandemic, Ladakh-based Buddhist monk Lama Thupstan Chogyal opened a free COVID-19 centre for those in need. The centre is being run under the Ladakh Heart Foundation, and was opened to accommodate the overwhelming number of patients suspected of having COVID-19. The monk’s selfless feat to help people fight the virus has continued during the second wave, with a major focus now on vaccination. Today, his 70-bed hospital has treated over 300 COVID patients. Alongside, the centre has ensured the vaccination of more than 1,000 people. All of this has been free of cost.

Amarjeet Singh

In May, Delhi-based Amarjeet Singh had barely recovered from a severe case of COVID-19 when he heard the news of his neighbour’s death due to a lack of ambulances. He used Rs 8 Lakh from the savings he’d kept for his children’s education to start an ‘Ambulance Sewa’. He uses his modified car to help patients get timely medical assistance. Amarjeet has been providing 24X7 emergency ambulance services from Delhi and Gurgaon to Ghaziabad with an oxygen cylinder fixed in the car. Despite his own financial and health limitations, he has transported 30 COVID patients to and from the hospital.

Mathanmi Hungyo

In Kamjong district, located in Manipur, where the terrain is difficult to navigate and funds are limited, a 27-year-old has been working tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to offer help to the people in his community. Since the start of the second wave of the pandemic, Mathanmi Hungyo has been providing oxygen concentrators and cylinders, as well as arranging safety kits for health workers in need. Alongside, he has provided ration kits to 3,000 families. He has also arranged 300 PPE kits and 700 N95 masks for health workers. The selfless hero has also helped patients procure 15 oxygen concentrators.

Rozy and Pascol Saldhana

During the second wave of COVID-19, Mumbai-based couple Pascol and Rozy Saldhana received a distress call from a friend enquiring for an oxygen cylinder that was needed immediately for an COVID-positive acquaintance. Rozy, who was diagnosed with kidney failure five years ago, always has a spare cylinder at home for emergencies. Without thinking twice, the couple offered their oxygen cylinder to help. Since then, they have helped more than eight COVID positive patients recover by providing timely medical contacts and oxygen cylinders. The duo even sold their own jewellery to raise Rs 80,000 for purchasing, refilling and delivering oxygen cylinders.

Mohd Wasim

When the COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020, Mohammad Waseem, a banker from Bhopal, decided he wanted to do his bit to help those in need. For this, he began putting together an online campaign to raise funds for migrant labourers and people belonging to low income communities. Since then, the good samaritan has provided ration kits to 1,200 families across the state of Madhya Pradesh and has distributed more than 5,000 cooked meals to migrant workers. He has also paid the rent for over 13 families who were unable to meet their expenses during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Ganesh Bhatt

Ganesh, a computer trainer, has been using his personal car as an ambulance and ferrying COVID-19 patients free of cost to a hospital located 45 km away from his town amid the hilly terrain of Uttarakhand. Standing strong against the pandemic, Ganesh has managed to ferry 21 patients to hospitals during the deadly second wave of the pandemic. He has also managed to arrange oxygen for a critical patient in need. Ganesh has been working day and night and has managed to deliver essential medicines to around 100 patients. He has also been distributing immunity boosters to his fellow villagers.

Baljeet Singh Chawla

When Baljeet Singh Chawla, owner of a welding business in Rudrapur, located in Uttarakhand, learnt that COVID-19 patients were suffering from a lack of oxygen flow meters, he decided to start making them himself. Baljeet began sourcing parts needed for an oxygen flow meter and welded them together at his shop. Stepping up to help those in need, he works over 18 hours a day to make these. So far, he has distributed over 600 oxygen flow meters free of cost to people who cannot afford the device. The selfless man has distributed them across Delhi, Ghaziabad and Bareilly.

Vedika Agarwal

Vedika Agarwal, a resident of Chennai, has been working tirelessly through the COVID-19 pandemic to help out people coming from less privileged communities. She has been doing this with the help of her non-profit, ‘Yein Udaan’. Working in tandem with the Chennai City Police, Vedika has provided groceries to 70,000 people and sanitation supplies to 3,000 people in need across the state of Tamil Nadu. She has also set up a number of home-libraries equipped with laptops and learning aids such as books, board games and stationery so that students can access education in these trying times with ease.

Gowri Bakaraju

In April 2021, Hyderabad-based pastry chef Gowri Bakaraju received news that 11 members of her family had contracted coronavirus. This pushed her to empathise with other COVID patients, especially those struggling to access basic facilities such as food. That’s when she decided to start serving home-cooked meals for COVID-19 patients admitted in government hospitals. With the help of her parents and four volunteers—Vysali Somanchi, Surya Somanchi, Monica Reddy and Anurag Reddy—she has been distributing more than 100 packets of lunch a day from outside hospitals, and recently, after the easing of lockdown restrictions, she has begun serving breakfast as well.

Neena Munyal

Neena Munyal, a homemaker from Agra, has been dedicatedly fighting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic from within her kitchen. She, along with a group of women volunteers, has started an initiative called ‘Prasadam’. Through this, she prepares home-cooked meals for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and cannot cook their own food. With the help of two delivery men, she gets these food packets delivered to patients across the city of Agra. Taking care of the diets of COVID patients twice a day, Neena has provided more than 2,500 meals during the second wave of the pandemic.

Srini Swaminathan

Since May 2020, Srini has been raising funds to feed some of the most vulnerable communities affected by the pandemic. During the second wave, he helped COVID-19 patients get meals, oxygen cylinders, concentrators, beds, and more. So far, he has raised more than Rs 40 lakh for COVID relief and has impacted the lives of over 1.5 lakh individuals. A Chennai-based independent social development consultant, his focus during the second wave has been to provide essentials to frontline workers, sanitation workers, COVID-19 patients, caregivers, and homeless senior citizens. Alongside, he supports small businesses by directing donations into their bank accounts.

Chaitali Shome

Chaitali Shome, a journalist and resident of Bhubaneshwar, has reached out to people living in the slums of her city and nearby tribal areas such as Dhenkanal, Bhadrak and many other districts. During the second wave of the pandemic, Chaitali has provided cooked food to around 800 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 4,000 kits of food to slum dwellers in and around Bhubaneswar. Chaitali has also distributed 2,000 sanitisers and 4,000 masks. Beyond helping humans, Chaitali is also reaching out to strays on the streets and has fed around 400 stray animals during the COVID-19 lockdown.