From India’s largest vaccination drive to finding plasma for COVID-19 patients — the top Social Stories of the week

This week, Social Story focussed on several humanitarian initiatives as the COVID-19 second wave rages on. We also brought you the details of India's largest vaccination drive.
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On May 1, India will open its COVID-19 vaccination to people in the age group of 18-45. To make citizens better aware of the importance of COVID-19 vaccination, SocialStory shared expert views on the upcoming inoculation drive.

In fact, we also witnessed the humanitarians efforts of Aikyatha volunteers, who are collecting plasma, and Chinu Kwatra, who has been providing oxygen cylinders to those who need it the most.

We also saw how people have been coming together to help the struggling Indians, with simple initiatives like the distribution of freshly cooked meals and using social media influence to spread the news about available beds, injections, and other important needs of the hour.

Here are the top Social Stories of the week:

All you need to know before every Indian adult is eligible for a shot

The vaccine rollout in India began in January 2021 in a phased manner with frontline workers of all ages being the first, followed by senior citizens and people with comorbidities above the age of 45, and then those without comorbidities above the age of 45.  

This next phase will include people between the ages of 18 and 45 — the country’s largest age demographic. With the number of infections increasing rapidly, infrastructure stretched thin, and reports of shortages in the supply of the vaccine doing the rounds — what can one expect as the ‘world’s largest inoculation drive’ expands to every adult citizen? Read more.

From renouncing married life to inspiring thousands of women to be self-sufficient

Lehro Devi (white mask) in Pic 1 and wearing pink in Pic 2 at handicrafts exhibitions where she promotes Rajasthani handicrafts

Belonging to a conservative family from Barmer, Rajasthan, Lehro Devi was expected to produce a male heir. After having three daughters, her husband decided to marry again as polygyny is common in her community. Soon, two sons were born to the second wife in quick succession.

However, making ends meet was a challenge, and Lehro Devi decided she would try to make a living. She had heard that Gramin Vikas Evam Chetna Sansthan (GVCS) — a grassroots NGO working in Barmer — was conducting training in the area.

Drawing inspiration from Ruma Devi — the President of GVCS and a master craftsperson — she has trained over 22,000 artisans from 75 villages in the Thar region of Rajasthan. 

Amid COVID-19, this humanitarian is back on the streets distributing food, oxygen

Oxygen cylinders are being distributed in and around Mumbai

Mumbai-based humanitarian and philanthropist Chinu Kwatra was on the ground last year during the first COVID-19 wave, helping migrants reach their hometowns as transportation came to a halt. A year later, when people almost seemed to adapt to the new normal, the virus returned with a bigger and more ferocious wave. And so did Chinu.

Amid the second wave, he and the members of his non-profit, Khushiyaan Foundation, are working on four main initiatives — three of which are carried forward from their efforts during the first wave. All of their initiatives have been scaled up to meet the crisis of the second wave.

How Indians are coming to the rescue amidst a brutal second wave of COVID-19

This week, India witnessed a record single-day spike in COVID-19 of over 3.52 lakh cases. At the time of reporting, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website showed 2,882,204 active cases in India, and experts predict this second wave to peak in mid-May.  

Amidst the devastating pandemic, in almost every corner of the country, people are stepping up to help — from cooking for COVID-19 patients in quarantine to tending to the medical needs of more serious patients.

How these volunteers are saving lives by connecting COVID patients with plasma donors

The volunteers in action, connecting plasma donors with those who need it

While the first wave of the pandemic set many new challenges to the healthcare ecosystem, during the second wave, there has been an increasing number of COVID cases and deaths in India. As the demand for plasma has increased manifold, there is an acute scarcity of donors. 

To connect eligible plasma donors with recipients, a group of NGOs and CSOs came together last year and formed the Aikyatha Initiative in Hyderabad. Started in July 2020, the initiative is supported by the Cyberabad Police Department and the Society for Cyberabad Security Council.

Edited by Suman Singh

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