“I never saw an oxygen concentrator in my life. I’ve realized its importance recently after seeing a huge scarcity of oxygen beds in the country, and the lack of oxygen supplies resulting in the death of many people”, says Sunny, a 25-year-old youth working for Save the Children as a Social Worker.

Sunny, 25 and Tushar, 27  live in Mumbai and are working for Save the Children with support to the urban health facilities and reaching out to the communities in the N Ward in Mumbai.

India has confirmed more than 24 million COVID-19 positive cases along with more than 200,000 deaths which is impacting the whole nation with additional challenges for children and disadvantaged groups, causing food insecurity, putting survival at further risk lack of health services even for preventable diseases and safety and security challenges for orphan children who have lost their parents due to COVID-19.

To support the government in this crisis, Save the Children India has reached out to various member countries for life-saving equipment support like oxygen concentrator, medical equipment to save lives, – which is most critical at this point in India.

With the pressing need, Save the Children India received 700 Oxygen Concentrators from Save the Children Australia. The consignment reached Mumbai airport in the afternoon of 13th May 2021, which will be distributed across 11 states in India. It was extremely challenging for any of the team members to go to the airport amid this difficult lockdown situation. But even with multiple permissions for a movement pass, we managed to put the Oxygen Concentrators on the move to its destination. When we approached Tushar and Sunny, two enthusiastic and young members of our team, the two of them didn’t think about the possible challenges, and agreed to go to the airport to receive the material for Save the Children India.

The duo arrived at the airport at around 5 in the evening and were geared up to receive the consignment. In Sunny’s words, “For the first time, we were going to the cargo section to receive the materials. We were excited as well as quite stressed”.

Their stress is understandable as they were unable to determine whether they could manage everything as per the requirements since it was a significant task for them during a stressful situation. They met the representatives from Gati Logistics at the airport, an agency that is distributing the relief material across the country, and received the materials and delivered them to the warehouse.

“It has been a great feeling that we are able to provide such critical support for our people. We know these will save lives”, says Sunny.

“Save the Children India has been providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and other safety gears as part of COVID-19 response since last year. But today is an exceptionally a proud moment for me to be able to receive and deliver O2 concentrators. Almost all hospitals in Mumbai and other cities and towns are practically struggling for establishing O2 beds for the critical patients amid the shortage; what could be more fulfilling than being able to save thousands of lives”, adds Tushar.

Tushar and sunny took care of the formalities at the airport, and the equipment was successfully transferred to our warehouse by Gati logistics for further distribution.

Here’s How Sunny Narrated the Entire Experience in His Words

“On Wednesday evening, I got a call from my senior, Aparna ma’am. She informed me regarding the distribution of oxygen concentrators and that I will have to go to the airport to receive the O2 concentrators. She also gave me the number of the other two members and told me to get in touch with them as they will accompany me to the airport. The time for reaching the airport was yet to be decided but she told me they would inform us in advance. Since I live close to the airport, I just had to wait for the instructions on time. I coordinated with other members immediately. I was a bit stressed thinking that if I’ll be able to do things properly. However, when I spoke to Tushar Sir, I felt quite relaxed.”

“Tushar sir arranged banners and stickers, and I collected those from the vendor the following next day. However, we received the further instructions at late afternoon that day which initially seemed impossible by that day”.

“Around 4.30 pm, Tushar sir called me and shared the address and further told that we have to reach there within 45 minutes. I took an auto-rickshaw from Sion area of Mumbai. The area where I stay (Sion) and Andheri (the area where the airport is located) are usually very crowded and it take more than 40 minutes to reach Andheri. Fortunately, we reached within 20 minutes that day. The roads were empty, and we faced no traffic snarls due to the lockdown, which is very rare in my city. When we reached there, the O2 concentrators were getting loaded, we took some pictures and also pasted the sticker on each of the boxes”.

“It was my first time, but I have learnt many things. I had no idea what is oxygen concentrators and how it looks. First, I thought that these concentrators would be distributed only in Maharashtra, but then I got to know that it will be distributed in 10 different states”.

In Mumbai, we are observing many cases and deaths because of the less availability of oxygen. It’s a common scenario across the country. Save the children is doing fantastic work by providing this life-saving material.”

Children at the Centre of COVID’s Second Surge – Help #ProtectAMillion

As the Coronavirus tsunami sweeps cities and towns across India, the vulnerable children who already grappled with issues like lack of education and healthcare, compromised safety and abuse, are at a high risk of suffering even more. The pandemic threatens to reverse the gains made for children and jeopardizes their future gravely.

Save the Children is geared up to respond to this unprecedented emergency and will be reaching 1 million children and their communities. Our response will cover providing Oxygen Support, COVID Care Kits, Hygiene Kits, Food Baskets, Education Support, Livelihood Support and Psycho-social Counselling. We cannot do this alone. Help us reach those in real need by making a contribution DONATE NOW.

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