These octogenarians fighting COVID-19 show age is no bar for being a good samaritan
The whole world has come to a standstill due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The disease affects people differently, with many showing no symptoms, some developing flu, and in extreme cases, it transforming into pneumonia-like conditions.
Globally, over 4.6 million positive cases have been recorded, with the total number of deaths crossing 305,000, according to Worldometer. While healthcare workers and researchers are trying to find solutions, the government, along with many NGOs and individuals, are trying to help the underprivileged in these difficult times.
As per the initial discoveries, the elderly are more prone to contract the disease and most deaths were also found to be in this demographic. People above the age of 60 are encouraged to stay inside their homes.
But some octogenarians (people in the age group of 80-89) are doing their bit to help those affected by the outbreak in their own ways. Be it stitching masks or making a contribution to the PM-CARES fund, they prove that age is no bar to be a good samaritan.
Here are five octogenarians from India who have contributed to the fight:
Subhash Chandra Banerjee
This 82-year-old retired college professor, who stays behind the Dum Dum International Airport, Kolkata, waved down the cops from his window. The cops thought the man was in distress went up to see is something was wrong.
Subhash Chandra Bannerjee
In a heart-warming gesture, Subhash Chandra Banerjee said that he wanted to contribute to the cause. The cops told him that he can contribute to the PM-CARES fund; he immediately gave them a cheque of Rs 10,000 — an amount he had saved from his pension.
This gesture touched the hearts of many across the world.
85-year-old Kumud Bajpai has been spending her time stitching masks ever since the lockdown was put in place. These masks are triple-layered, according to the specified guidelines, and are distributed for free to the poor.
Kumud Bajpai (Photo: India Today)
Ever since her husband passed away, she has been receiving a monthly pension of Rs 10,000 and has been saving money since. Every day, she spends a good amount of money on stitching these masks.
Along with the masks, she also distributes 50-70 packets of ration to the poor, with the help of her family members. Kumud believes that she is self-sufficient and will be able to handle the expenditure as long as the lockdown is in place.
The migrant labourers have been rendered jobless post the lockdown and find it difficult to find one square meal a day. This 85-year-old woman from Coimbatore is making idlis, despite suffering losses.
K. Kamalathal (Image: The Quint)
K Kamalathal wakes up every morning to make idli and sambhar, and sells them at a meagre price of Rs 1 to the migrant labourers. Seeing her efforts, many people have come forward to help her with the supplies and raw materials needed to make the food.
Even the migrant workers themselves are coming forward to help the woman make these idlis.
Bhupinder Kaur Bedi
This 88-year-old woman from Mohali is on a mission to help the poor and combat the virus. Bhupinder Kaur Bedi was really worried about how healthcare workers were facing a shortage of masks due to panic buying.
Bhupinder Kaur Bedi (Image: Jagran)
Once she saw the simplicity of the mask, she decided to stitch these three-layered masks at her home. Using a sewing machine that she was gifted at her wedding, she, along with her daughter-in-law, stitches about 100 masks a day. She has five children, all of whom are doctors.
Initially, she gave the masks to her son Dr HS Bedi, to distribute at Ivy Hospital. Once the shortage was met at the hospital, she began distributing it to the poor for free.
Khalida Begum, 87, was all set to go for the Haj in 2020 on her own expense and had saved up Rs 5,00,000 for the same. However, due to the lockdown, her she had to cancel her plans. Since the country is in a bad state, she contributed the entire amount to the Sewa Bharti Organisation, to help those in need.
Khalida Begum (Image: AajTak)
She believes that the RSS-run organisation was doing good things to help the people in distress, and hence, donated the entire amount she had kept aside for the Haj.