Heroes of Covid: Know the 3 youth leaders helping thousands battle the crisis

As India reels under the second wave of the coronavirus crisis, three youth leaders have emerged as saviors – helping thousands. With the second wave of Covid-19 sweeping the nation, three youth leaders have become the ray of hope for many as the healthcare infrastructure seems to crumble under the burden of increasing cases.

The commitment of these leaders to provide assistance to Covid-19 patients and their kin has been praiseworthy. BV Srinivas, President of the Indian Youth Congress, is one such person who has been relentlessly working to help people across the country. He has helped in arranging plasma, oxygen and remdesivir injections for many critical patients. Charu Pragya, daughter of former Mumbai Police Commissioner, and now National Incharge (Legal) Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and Aam Aadmi Party’s Dilip Pandey are also doing exemplary work when it comes to helping people battle the second wave of the coronavirus crisis.

Dilip Pandey’s Twitter name says wear mask, and venture out only if necessary. All three have used their party networks to effectively help out people. The trio has used its social media accounts to reach out to hundreds who were in dire need of help.

BV SRINIVAS, INDIAN YOUTH CONGRESS

The 41-year-old is one of the most tagged on Twitter posts seeking help and assistance with Covid. He heads a team of special 26, from a tiny but effective control room in the Indian Youth Congress office at the Raisina Road. But he is not alone. He heads a team of seven in the control room and 19 in field hospitals, working across Delhi to ensure people in need get what they want. Srinivas is constantly on the phone these days – arranging hospital beds to medicines. There is a flurry of activities – from monitoring social media to coordinating with patients and doctors. BV Srinivas has appealed to people to tag him or send him direct messages regarding medical requirements along with the patient’s location.

The response has been massive. “We are trying to reach out to as many as possible,” he said. He said the country should have been better prepared after the first wave. “We lost time,” he said. But now we are trying to help as many people. It is important because we see the panic set in. The response has been overwhelming. Demands are from ICU beds to Plasma, to Covid-related medicines to life-saving drug Remdesivir. He said, “India is the biggest producer of oxygen, yet we are falling short.”

CHARU PRAGYA, BJP

The 36-year-old BJP leader is a single mom, a known face on TV screens. She is using her Twitter account to reach out to the ones in need in coordination with the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), one of the largest youth political organisations. She says ours is a well-knit network. “2021 has been a tough year. Our entire team is only on one job, to help those in need in the Covid crisis on a war footing. There is a huge difference between 2020 and 2021. Last year we were helping with food, ration and transportation. Comparatively, it was easier to arrange. This year is more challenging with the need for medical infrastructure and institutions,” she said.

“If we have to arrange plasma, we need to have a donor in place. For Covid medicines, we need to have a supplier. For beds, we need to be in touch with hospitals,” Pragya, who has now spent 14 hours on her phone, said. Her team of 16 people is constantly in touch with her over the phone. “We are also maintaining social distancing. But we are all working, coordinating. We have also started helplines in five regions including Delhi and Mumbai,” she said. She said, “You do need connections. You need to know people who can help. We have success stories of bringing in air ambulances for critical patients to saving a soldier’s mother. But we always remember who we could not help. A pregnant woman died recently. Despite our effort, we could not save her. But it is a constant fight. We try not to get demoralised. It is a long road ahead,” she said.

DILIP PANDEY, AAP

The 40-year-old Timarpur MLA is also working tirelessly to help people in this crisis. In one of the Twitter conversations, an Unmukth Chand said, “Immediately require Remdesevir vials for my mother and uncle who are suffering from Covid-19. Kindly send leads ASAP.” Immediately came the reply from Dilip, “This is done, have connected @UnmuktChand9 to the concerned person.” From distributing food to sanitisers around Delhi, the MLA is helping Delhiites day in and out. He said, “I do not wish to speak, because there are plenty of people who are suffering. I am pained by it. I do not think I am doing great work. I am trying to help.”

With over three lakh followers, his tweets are all related to Covid. A person close to him said he is constantly working, and is extremely tied up with Covid-19 work. Most of it is his personal effort. But as the Delhi Government braces for the oxygen crisis, his timeline is flooded with requests. With every passing day, the burden is increasing, with more patients and kin appealing for help. According to the Home Ministry, in the last 11 days, new cases have almost doubled from 1.31 lakh reported on April 9 to 2.73 lakh reported on April 20.

The three leaders who have now emerged as saviours will need all the help, perhaps even the blessings to meet the challenge ahead.

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