In the midst of an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases across the city, as social media platforms emerge as national helplines, several citizens and small-scale collectives have taken up the mantle of helping fellow residents in distress and responding to SOS messages sent by them seeking hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, plasma, and medicines.
The second wave of the pandemic across the country — and the fourth in Delhi — has turned out to be the deadliest one yet.
For the past 10 days, Jamia Nagar resident Shariq Hussain's phone hasn't stopped ringing. Desperate calls for help from affected families have kept the 29-year-old social activist on his toes. Hussain has been providing free oxygen cylinders to Covid-19 patients ever since cases in the city spiralled out of control.
"On a daily basis, 500-700 people are getting oxygen refilled from my house. People from Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut, and Bulandshahr have been visiting us for oxygen. I am trying to help as many people as we can," said Hussain.
The service is provided without any cost and the expenses for procuring oxygen are being borne by Hussain alone. "Even as we speak, hundreds of people are standing outside my house. Besides calls from individuals, I also get calls from Delhi Police who divert requests to us," said Hussain, who lives in Jamia Nagar's Batla House.