Pune: With the entire country battling the second wave of COVID-19, we need all the help we can get. Even as the fight against the COVID outbreak in the state is on a war footing, COVID patients are finding it difficult to find hospital beds. In a bid to tackle the problem, a group of 25 NSS volunteers of St Mira's College are helping the CRSA (COVID Resource Students Association) formed with the initiative of one student of St Mira's with her friend to help patients find verified resources.
COVID Resource Student Association (CRSA) is an initiative started by Taarini Das, Urvi Shetty (a Sociology student of St Mira’s College) and Karuna Das. The initiative is fully run by students to help people in dire need of COVID resources by providing verified and well-researched data.
According to the group, it was important to conduct such a campaign simply because it is the need of the hour. CRSA wanted to help people with verified information so that instead of running around for resources, people could attend to the needs of their loved ones. It was also set up to boost people’s morale since the association couldn’t be directly involved in supplying resources.
The initiative came to life when Taarini, Urvi, and Karuna connected via social media and decided to do their bit in helping the country heal and get through these trying times. The project started in April, with only 4 volunteers. However, with the help of their respective colleges and social media, the toll has gone up to 111. The volunteers are working tirelessly for this cause.
A group of 25 NSS volunteers of St Mira's College are helping the CRSA (Covid Resource Students Association) formed with the initiative of one Sociology student of St Mira's with her friend as the work was too overwhelming for the core team. This was in response to a call by their Principal, Dr GH Gidwani to come forward and help. Together they are working on helping COVID patients and their families to get access to resources like medicines and injections keeping the government regulations in mind, real-time availability of ICU and oxygen beds, plasma donors, tiffin facilities, ambulance services to name a few.
In this huge endeavour, the NSS volunteers group is helping them in the data collection and verification of the data across the country. In a short span of three days, the team has succeeded in helping about 30 patients. The team has helped patients not only from Pune but also from the cities like Agra, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Jhansi and Dehradun. This group of volunteers together were able to help around 2,000 people across the country through various social media platforms.
According to the core team, “Over the last two weeks, we’ve seen people cry out for help. We have helped as many as we could have. Even though the number seems small and sometimes the person in need fails to get the resources on time, this does not stop us from taking the next step towards kindness. All it takes is 20 seconds of courage to make the next call, to look for people in need, find more resources, to help as many as we can. The three of us have found a home away from home in each other.”
“Finding our way back to our WhatsApp group, talking about how our day went, becoming each other’s checkpoints, and we eventually have become a big family. Managing everything with college and home is extremely difficult, but the fact that we can provide someone with something that they urgently need gives us purpose –to do more, to be more and to learn more,” it added.
When the CRSA volunteers receive messages from people thanking them for leads, resources or even some moral support, they feel even more encouraged to keep helping people every day.
Every day posts dire challenges, but it is the relentless spirit that keeps students motivated. With a strong workforce, they intend to stay on board as long as people need them.