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Meet the good Samaritans giving lease of life amid shortage of oxygen supply

Meet the good Samaritans giving lease of life amid shortage of oxygen supply

Meet the good Samaritans giving lease of life amid shortage of oxygen supply
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By CNBCTV18.COMApr 22, 2021 9:36:54 PM IST (Updated)

Here is a man from Maharashtra, the worst hit state with COVID-19 infections, who sold his vehicle last year to fund supply of free medical oxygen in Mumbai.

As India witnessed the highest ever single-day increase in COVID-19 cases with over 3.14 lakh new infections in the past 24 hours amid the complaints from across the country about shortage of oxygen cylinders in hospitals, there were a few good Samaritans who came out to help the people in need.

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Mumbai man sold his vehicle to help people


Here is a man from Maharashtra, the worst-hit state with COVID-19 infections, who sold his vehicle last year to fund supply of free medical oxygen in Mumbai.

Touted as the ‘Oxygen man of Mumbai’, Shahnawaz Shaikh started the oxygen supply last year for which he sold his SUV. He sold his Ford Endeavour worth around Rs 25 lakh to buy oxygen cylinders for those in need.

He has since started Unity & Dignity Foundation at Malvani in Malad, which has so far provided oxygen to nearly 5,000 people.

For those in need he is just a phone call away. His organisation has also set up a control room to help people. According to a Lokmat report, Shaikh currently has 200 oxygen cylinders.

Shaikh’s organisation has been getting 500 to 600 calls nowadays as compared to 50 calls earlier till January. But they are able to serve only 10-20 percent of the people those who contact for help, the report said.

It all started after a relative of his friend died of the COVID-19 on the way to hospital last year. When Shaikh learnt that timely oxygen support could have saved her life, he decided to help such COVID-19 patients. He started by purchasing 160 oxygen cylinders besides renting 40 more, reported Lokmat.

Oxygen man of Patna

In Panta too, another ’Oxygen man’ is on a mission to save lives.

Gaurav Rai (52), who himself suffered from the COVID-19 last July, has so far saved the lives of more than 950 people by providing them with the life-saving gas cylinders at their homes free-of-cost.

Rai starts his day as early as 5 am, carrying oxygen cylinders in his WagonR car, not only delivering them from one colony to another but also even installing them for the home-quarantined patients. Rai does not even charge for the installation. On many days, he works well beyond midnight and he hasn’t taken a single break till now.

According to a News18 report, he took the steps after his near brush with death last year at the peak of the COVID-19 first wave. He was himself diagnosed with the infection in July and was rushed to Patna Medical College and Hospital but could not get a bed there. Rai found himself beside the staircase to the COVID ward, gasping for breath, due to a dip in the oxygen level but there were no cylinders available for him. It took five hours for his wife to arrange an oxygen cylinder privately.

After recovering, he along with his wife started a small oxygen bank at the basement of their residence with their own funds. As the news spread, help started pouring in from various quarters, mainly through social media. From 10 cylinders in the initial days he has now more than 200 cylinders, a few of it donated by others.

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