COVID Action by ISDM Students

July 05, 2021

 

Arpita Sur, PGP DM 2020-21     

The year 2021 had started on a high note for ISDM's students, as many students trickled into the campus for offline classes. Discussions were livelier, clubs were formed, and everyone made sure that COVID-19 appropriate behaviour was followed. However, the last leg of this cohort's journey had to be shifted entirely online since India started grappling with the pandemic's second wave. Given the grave nature of the situation, ISDM's faculty facilitated spaces for students to reflect on their experiences and create a network of support for one another.

Three students from the cohort initiated and actively supported resource mobilisation efforts for citizens affected by COVID-19. They have been pouring all their energy into relief work while also coping with challenges that come with grassroots work during these testing times.

Krishna Vamshi, Blood warriors

Krishna had started Blood warriors to support Thalassemia patients who need blood every twenty days. These patients' lives have become uncertain due to the lockdown and the scarcity of blood donors. He and his team are using platforms like social media to mobilise blood donors who can support at-risk Thalassemia patients.

Apart from working with Blood Warriors, Krishna supports multiple organisations and individuals who are working full-time in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Hyderabad. He has been volunteering to fill gaps in information, resources and mobilisation. He has launched fundraisers with the community to raise more than 10 Lakhs to support patients who do not have the means to afford emergency treatment. Together with his team, he has raised funds to get oxygen concentrators, PPE kits and Pulse Oximeters for communities in need.

Investing time and effort into relief work has taken a toll on Krishna's mental health. Confronting news of people's death and suffering due to lack of resources have caused him multiple panic attacks for the first time. He feels that he is failing to remain strong despite trying to centre himself. However, his passion keeps him going:

"I always believe that I have a limited time on this planet, which technically means I can only do limited things in life. If I am lazy and don't do anything in this limited time, I am cutting down on my experience of doing things. This keeps me going." 

Sandeep Kumar, DigiSwasthya

Sandeep, a cancer survivor, started DigiSwasthya, a section 8 registered telemedicine centre for people to access medical support remotely. The organisation is located in Sant Kabir Nagar, UP and is currently also operating as a COVID relief centre. Sandeep has been communicating with COVID patients since April 2021 to check their vital statistics and connecting them with doctors, hospitals, NGOs and resources for further care.

He finds the relief work a tremendously powerful experience wherein he juggles managing his organisation and attending to coursework, among other responsibilities. In collaboration with the team at DigiSwasthya, Sandeep has raised about 1.4 lakhs in funds for supporting patients with oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, oximeters and other medical equipment. The organisation has also received support from donors. Their efforts have brought smiles to the faces of patients and their families. Moments like these are precious to him and keep him motivated.

Sandeep prioritises taking care of himself in these challenging times; sound sleep, proper diet and exercise have kept him going. He also finds solace in the support provided by his team and friends. They have been helping him with references, making phone calls, designing posters and other awareness-raising materials.

A highly committed and positive person, Sandeep says:

"It's a journey; keep going! Together we can!"

Shashwat Kotambkar, Kazwa  

Shashwat's organisation, Kazwa, has been working on the ground for a year to mobilise resources for COVID patients. Initially, they struggled to mobilise contacts to create a network, and that caused multiple logistical challenges. However, over the course of a year, they connected with willing volunteers who were eager to pour in time and energy for Kazwa's initiative.

The second wave of the pandemic brought with it new challenges. His team of volunteers was losing motivation when available resources were exhausted at a rapid pace. To motivate his team of on-ground volunteers, Kazwa collaborated with other NGOs who helped them tide over challenges and raised the team's morale.

Focusing on the mechanical aspects of the operation kept Shashwat from dwelling on the dystopian condition of the ecosystem around him. Leading Kazwa was a cathartic process that allowed him to reflect on the power of a collective and gain new perspectives.

Someone once told Shashwat, "Least you can do is own your privileges", and it has stayed with him since.

 

 

More From Blog

Learnings from the Past……. New Beginnings for the Future

As we get ready to welcome the Class of 2021-2022, here’s a sneak previe

July 02, 2021 | Lakshmi Rao

Ecosystem Study: Benchmarking Talent Management in Indian Social Sector

The study on Benchmarking Talent Management in Indian Social Sector, see

July 02, 2021 | Priti Dargad and Leena Sushant

Does India’s social sector need better ‘management’?

Young people, students especially, often ask me, “What should I study to

April 08, 2021 | Ingrid Srinath

How Social Entrepreneurship Is changing the World

New age entrepreneurship is rapidly evolving into a synergistic mix of conventional management skills and focusing...

March 26, 2021

Re-Imagining the new normal with Development Management | DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT WEEK - 28th January...

The Indian School of Development Management celebrated the third edition

March 10, 2021

Learning from the Pandemic: ISDM’s journey in setting up HYBRID classes on-campus

The COVID 19 outbreak last year became a major disruption for colleg

March 10, 2021 | JahnviAndharia

My Field Study Gave Me First Hand Experience Of What Poverty Can Do To A Family

I was very biased about my ideas on Rajasthan; Rajasthan always depicted

April 02, 2020 | Elvina Deori

It’s time we mainstream the development sector institutions !

This piece talks about the need of the development sector institutions i

November 20, 2019 | By Sujith Ail

What A Small Village In Arunachal Taught Me About Human-Nature Interactions

My journey started as a manager of a cellular firm.

November 15, 2019 | Debabrata Saha

Thinking of Change

From nowhere to everywhere, mankind has found its direction to continuou

October 01, 2019 | Roopa Sharma

How Indian companies approach CSR

Shankar Venkateswaran, Chief of Tata Sustainability Group, speaks to IDR about corporate giving in India. He shares...

September 23, 2019 | Cofounder Name

My Idea Of Development Was Pretty Underdeveloped

“If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have alw

September 23, 2019 | Shivangi Jasrapuria

How Self-Help Groups Generated Awareness On Basic Rights In Bastar

It was a hot March afternoon and the sun was gradually setting, when I r

September 19, 2019 | Nilanjan Panda

Under The Shadow Of Wild Elephants, Marginalised Women Take Giant Strides

Minoti Das lived in a perpetual state of dependency; dependency on her f

June 25, 2019 | Monica Chauhan

Portal Exclusive: Millennials opting for a career with a purpose

Social development sector is slowly becoming a preferred career choice w

June 19, 2019 | Gaurav Shah

5 Living elements to start your climate change fight at home

It's been a long time that world over people are debating on the impact

June 03, 2019 | Swati

My Story: “It Took Me Over A Year To Switch To Menstrual Cup & I Recommend It For Every Woman...

As World Menstruation day approaches us on May 28th, the topic may be ou

May 29, 2019 | Nitisha

How Millennials Will Change the Future of Work

India has several visionaries in the field of education, philanthropy, h

May 21, 2019 | Mridul Upadhyay

Becoming A Reflective Practitioner Taught Me The Importance Of A Journey

In 2015, when I got introduced to the field of social work or the develo

May 21, 2019 | Sanjana Kaushik

Because I Am Beautiful!

In a world where people are proudly calling themselves ‘feminists’, nobo

April 16, 2019 | Smruti Paradarshita