Report in Kannada written by Sri Srikanta Balaganchi, Translated to English by Smt. Anupama Harish
A family of four lived in small house among a cluster of other houses(known as Vatara in Kannada). One day without prior notice a group of eight to ten relatives came to their house. They seemed to have travelled from afar and looked hungry and tired. It was evident that they were hungry and they needed to be fed. There wasn’t enough food to feed so many. To cook for so many would have taken a couple of hours at least. Since it was the end of the month they couldn’t afford to order food from outside for so many people. Without panicking, the lady of the house took a stand to feed all of them. She set her rice to be cooked and went to the neighbours with her dilemma and returned back with rasam and sambar from all houses enough to feed her guests. In ten minutes she had served hot and satisfying lunch to all the hungry guests. Her amazing neighbours came to her aid in seconds and made sure that she took care of her guests.
The situation in our country is no different from the above story. Our country’s health care system was progressing according to our population and the challenges that come with it. But this unforeseen attack of Chinese origin Covid-19 virus on the entire world has made all our health care systems crash. It’s Chaos everywhere. This virus has neither spared the rich nor the poor. When hospitals became crowded and many who couldn’t access free treatment from government hospitals had to spend lakhs in private hospitals, we’ve seen them showed their frustrations by accusing the government and ranting on social media and other forms of media.
In tough rimes like these, instead of complaining about the government, Rashtrotthana Parishat which is a part of the Sangh Parivar has set an example through its act just like how the the good neighbours responded in the above story. With the support of Seva Bharathi, they’ve set up many COVID care centers around Bengaluru.
Everyone who tests positive for COVID don’t need hospital care. There are a very high number of people who have isolated themselves at home and recovered with the right treatment. But the second wave has caused respiratory problems to many, which created panic among people making even those who don’t need hospitalisation to get admitted in already overburdened hospitals. This resulted in genuinely critical patients not getting beds and oxygen in hospitals. This crisis made the Karyakarthas from Sangh Parivar at Banashankari open a COVID care center consisting of 90 beds in the school premises of Rashtrotthana Parishat.
This COVID care center has Doctors and nurses all around the clock along with Swayamsevaks to take care of all the needs of the patients. Healthy herbal tea(Kashaya) at 6 in the morning, clean bathrooms, hot water for baths, tasty breakfast at 8am sharp, coffee at 10, lunch at 12, light snacks at 4pm, dinner at 8, turmeric with milk at 10 pm and special rooms that have a soft bed to sleep on is what these Covid Care centres boast of. Necessary medications at the right times are being provided to the affected. Facility for steam inhalation is available. Emergency oxygen facility is available here. Doctors are regularly monitoring the patients and in case anyone needs hospitalisation, there’s a team which is responsible to transfer them to the nearest hospital in an ambulance. Above all, all these facilities are provided free of cost.
Anyone aged 10 to 60 with a COVID positive certificate with their BU number whose oxygen saturation levels above 94 can get admitted at these centres. They just need to come with four sets of clothes and avail free COVID treatment in these centres. This is a primary care center for COVID patients who do not need hospitalisation not for patients who have severe, life threatening symptoms.
Rupees 50 lakhs is what is needed to run a centre like this for a month says the incharge of the Care centre. Swayamsevaks from the Sangh and the Sangh Parivar who follow the philosophy of ‘less for me but my most for the society’ have come together every time our country has been in crisis. Our society has been a witness to this selfless service and this is why big companies have come forward to help run these centres with their CSR funds. Apart from this, many kind hearted people living abroad have donated generously every time there’s been a need. This has been immensely encouraging for us to start and run more centres like this Rashtrotthana Parishat says.
Some others have graciously agreed to send life saving oxy meters and oxygen concentrators. Every bit counts during such a time of crisis. People who want to donate can do so via account transfer. The details of which are on Rashtrotthana Website.
After the tremendous response we received at Banashankari centre, the other Rashtrotthana school in Ramurthynagar having 50 beds and one in Mangala Vidyamandira Yelahanka which also has a 50 bed COVID care centre has been started says the Covid Seva incharge. Apart from this a centre has been started in Magadi Road to accommodate the people who live on the outskirts of the city. The Swayamsevaks of Rashtrotthana and Sevabharathi are ready to start more such centres anywhere in Bangalore subject to the availability of a suitable place. Depending on the health of the patients, they are accommodated and taken care for 7-14 days in these centers.
It’s very heartening to note that about 15-20 people from Banashankari and 30-35 people from Ramurthynagar centre have availed the services and gone back home free from COVID. When we spoke to the people who actually stayed at these centers, their reactions were amazing. One particular family whose older son lives in Canada. His 70 year old father, 65 year old mother and their other son were all COVID positive. The daughter-in-law with her young child didn’t know how to handle the situation and made a distress call to her sister in law in Canada.
She contacted one of the Rashtrotthana Swayamsevaks and asked for help. Swayamsevaks took in all three affected wholeheartedly and the seniors were given oxygen support immediately. They were taken care for two weeks and now they are back home hale and healthy free from COVID. The gratitude and happiness they felt while narrating their experience is something that can’t be expressed in words.
A newly wedded couple who got married in November tested positive and they had no one to take care of them. They got admitted to our Yelahanka centre and now they are both recuperating well here.
‘What is the society and government doing for us?’ When most people are asking this question, Rashtrotthana and Sevabharathi Swayamsevaks are doing yeomen service silently by running such centres which are directly reducing the load on hospitals which need beds and equipment to save the critically affected people. It won’t be an exaggeration to call them the ‘real heroes’ who rise in times of need.