The health catastrophe of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought grief and sorrow to everyone’s life. While our government, hospitals, and NGOs are trying their best to manage the situation, some individuals are volunteering to help so that people in despair can get some relief. They are gathering resources and medical supplies on their own to ensure that people in need are assisted.

Meet Imran Khan, the secretary of the ‘Insaaniyat Welfare Society’, one of the founding members of the society. The society is based in Indira Nagar, Lucknow. Their journey as an organisation began in the midst of the Kerala flood in 2017. The Insaaniyat welfare society, along with other NGOs, in collaboration with the CM Relief Fund, went to Kerala and distributed 40 tonnes of food supplies. Later, they were appreciated for the efforts they put up and since then, they have started working on a greater level in Lucknow. The main initiatives of the Insaaniyat Welfare Society are towards blood donation and helping downtrodden workers. Currently, there are more than 50 volunteers working day and night just to save the lives of the people in this pandemic. Owing to the dire shortage of medical oxygen, the volunteers are now indulging in supplying medical resources to the people in need.

The owner of the society, Kudrat Ulla Khan, initially ordered about 30 oxygen cylinders. There was a time when he had only 3 oxygen cylinders left but he was strongly determined to help the people, especially the underprivileged ones. Therefore, since April, they have increased their capacity to 40 oxygen cylinders which are filled by the volunteers of the organisation themselves at Talkatora plant which is a refilling station in Lucknow. Due to the limited supply in Lucknow, the volunteers took oxygen cylinders to the outskirts of the city to get them refilled. The cost of filling one jumbo cylinder is approximately Rs.1800, but in this pandemic, the organisation is providing refilling facilities to people absolutely free of cost. He also mentioned that the distribution policy of medical oxygen was repeatedly changed by the administration as per the continuous changes in guidelines; thus, the organisation appealed to the state government to make arrangements for more refilling stations to address the uncertainty in the supply. This astonishing work done by the organisation has also been covered in an article by ‘India Today’.

Apart from this, they also provide free meals to COVID+ patients and those who are staying isolated. They provide door-to-door service for people in need. The volunteers of the organisation are also helping the people to cremate the remains of their loved ones, for the people are not supposed to be near the COVID+ body. They perform all the necessary rituals in honour of the individual.

The message conveyed to the youth by Imran Khan in a telephonic interview was that “all sections of the society should come forward to help each other, especially amidst this grim situation. Nobody knows when a person may fall victim to COVID-19.” He asserts that it is our responsibility to help our friends, relatives, and neighbors; if Insaaniyat Welfare Society can work day and night for people in need, then the youth should also try to help others, or at least the ones they are in contact with owing to their good immunity and overall health.

Authored by: Saksham Singh

Edited by: Keval Vyas