The congress’s young brigade tap their organisation contacts to get relief for Covid victims in crisis

An IYC volunteer delivering an oxygen cylinder to a home in Delhi

When Gurugram-based freelance writer Shilpi Singh and her family of four needed hospitalisation, she tweeted seeking help on April 15. The tweet was noticed by IYC president Srinivas B.V. and within two hours, Shilpi, her husband Ajay and two children were admitted in a hospital in Narela in Delhi. “They not only got us admitted but kept regular tabs on our health. IYC leaders check on us even today,” says Shilpi.

When the first wave of Covid-19 hit India last year, Indian Youth Congress (IYC) volunteers distributed masks and PPE kits and fed thousands of migrant workers. At their national executive on March 7 this year, former party president Rahul Gandhi had asked volunteers to gear up for a second wave. A core group of 1,000 across the country responded to citizens desperate for hospital beds and oxygen. They started a database of hospitals, oxygen and ICU beds and ventilators, so they knew immediately whenever a bed fell vacant. “People lined up in front of big hospitals waiting for hours and days to get admission. Our volunteers were there to guide patients and attendants to hospitals where beds were available. The immediate medical attention saved many lives,” says Srinivas.

Many patients, who could not get admitted in hospitals but needed oxygen, reached out to the IYC through their social media handles. The IYC volunteers categorised the patients depending on criticality and prioritised help for those in urgent need. Later, when word of mouth spread about IYC’s work, many recovered patients donated their cylinders to the organisation. The IYC also cremated more than 100 bodies of patients who had no one to perform the last rites.

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