In a world where every second Instagram story has bad news and every other Whatsapp message tells you something sad, it is very difficult to find positivity.
People are scared, anxious and in desperate need for hope and affection. I have been extremely lucky till now, to have been with my family and be safe, to worry about cleaning my own kitchen and wondering what to cook for dinner or what new movie to watch. But despite that, the pain around the world flows into your surroundings.
But, at the same time, I have found inspiration. I have been amazed when I read about people coming together. Communities being built online to fight a system, a disease. Stories that make me smile.
Here are some stories that I have seen recently and been inspired by;
1. Saransh Goila's Food Delivery
Saransh Goila of Goila Butter Chicken fame had started posting about what people can do to help Covid patients who are quarantined at home. Soon, that triggered a conversation, and I read about how he and his friends (and followers) started organising meals for those in need. He started crowdsourcing data on orginations and individuals across the country who are willing to provide meals for Covid patients at home. Soon, this crowdsourced data became a website that is now 'www.covidmealsforindia.com' (link in Chef Goila's page)
2. Covid Care Goa - Community Stories
As a local in Goa, I was limited to knowledge when it came to healthcare. And it wasn't just me. We are dependent on local hospitals and clinics when it comes to any ailment but no one was prepared for a pandemic. No one knew what to do when something like this happens. Then a friend told me about a girl. not a Goan, but someone who has been living in Goa - who decided to step up and do something. She started asking people on Instagram to help build a resource list for Goa. Soon, I started following her and realised that she raised funds for Covid care. Yes, she got trolled. Someone even acused her of scam. But I was grateful for someone who had taken an effort to do something for others.
Came across another story that inspired me on an article by India Today. It spoke of youngsters who helped volunteer and worked tirelessly to assist Covid hit families. These citizen volunteers across the country, who included students and young working adults, who did so much by just contributing their time and energy.
3. Bhopal's Live Saving Rickshaw
Just today, I came across a wonderful post by Conde Nast Traveler India. A story of a Rickshaw driver in Bhopal, who turned his only source of income into a charity that saves lives. How? He turned his Rickshaw into a 24x7 ambulance, one that also has an oxygen cylinder! Check out the post below for his story!
4. Affordable Mental Health Care
A lot of doctors and medical students I know have been asking people to reach out to them in need, even if it is virtually. In a world like this, physical health is not the only thing that has people suffering. Anxiety, depression and other mental health issues caused by various triggers is present all around us. I know, I personally deal with it.
Then I came across this post by Therapize India who listed professionals at reduced hourly fees and free 1:1 counselling sessions to support people. Isn't that amazing?
5. Homegrown Brands That Are Helping
While we have the big brands contributing in various ways. There are some homegrown brands who have committed their income from select sale items to various foundations. Every small step makes a difference and when you have that power use it well.
Here are some examples that I found today.
6. Oxygen Langars
I started seeing friends repost about 'Oxygen langars' and the phrase was powerful and yet painful. It's come to this where oxygen and availability of facilities in the country have become cause of death and not just the virus.
The Shri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Indirapuram along with an NGO, Khalsa Help International have together to help patients. Any one in need can visit the premises and they will supply oxygen in their cars itself. Amazing! Right? With SOS calls and messages for oxygen cylinders and concentrations flooding social media platforms, the Gurdwara and the NGO, came up with this unique langar that promises to supply oxygen in its premises to Covid-19 patients till the time they find a hospital bed or home isolation patients whose saturation levels have dropped significantly.
Read more on The Indian Express
7. Last but not the least, Sonu Sood.
Not going to describe what Sonu Sood did, because everyone has been talking about it since last year. But how do you put together a list like this and not mention him?
All of us, who have shared leads, reposted something helpful on social media. Each one of you, who have helped out a neighbour in need, cooked a meal and sent groceries to someone isolating at home. Donated money, amplified requests or done anything else. We all play a part.
It's important that we help urge those around us and use the little influence we have to support the 'greater good' as Tony Stark puts it.
Have you found similar stories that inspire? Share them in the comments below. It may help make someone else get a shimmer of hope.