[COVID Warriors] This non-profit is providing free medicines amid the brutal pandemic

In the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, NSS provided meals and ration kits to the poor. Now, amid the brutal second wave, it has launched a toll-free helpline number to provide medicines to those in need.
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Narayan Seva Sansthan (NSS) has been making humanitarian efforts for people in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Ukraine, the UK, and the US. It is on a mission to bring the differently-abled to mainstream society by empowering them physically, socially, and economically.

For over 35 years, NSS has operated over four lakh patients and has provided them full socio-economic support by availing the best of medical services, medicines, and technologies free of cost.

The non-profit has 480 hospitals in India and 86 abroad. Each is equipped with over 1,100 beds, a team of 125 doctors, and a nursing staff that treat about 95 patients daily.

Its vocational programmes such as Computer Training, Electronic Equipment repairing, Hardware & Networking Skills, Home Appliances Repairing, Sewing Training, and Mobile Repairing skills help the differently-abled to earn their livelihood and become a functional part of society.

COVID-19 relief work in the first wave

Amid the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, NSS provided meals and ration kits to the poor. Now, in the second and current wave, it has launched another feeding campaign, along with a toll-free helpline number to provide medicines to those in need. 

Pandemic aid for the needy

 “We realised that the pandemic has caused a huge problem for migrants, differently-abled, and more. We conducted multiple campaigns like the Sathihathbadhana and the Ghar Ghar Bhojan campaigns,” says Prashant Agarwal, President of NSS.

Sathihathbadhana was started during the second wave of the pandemic to offered a free-of-cost ambulance facility, a home sanitisation facility for COVID-19 recoveries, and free oxygen for the needy in Udaipur.

“We also gave away medicines, free-of-cost, to people who are COVID-19 positive and would be venturing out of the house to buy their medications. We also created ‘Corona Medicine Kits’, which were distributed medicines to those who tested COVID-19 positive and had prescriptions,” he adds. These kits have been distributed to more than 1.5 lakh people.

 The NSS ‘Corona Medicine Kit’ has medicines such as Paracetamol, Doxy, Zinc with Azithromycin, Ivermectin, D3 60 K with multivitamin tablets.

The team sorting medicines into 'Corona Kits'

These kits are distributed at the doorstep with free home delivery. The patient can call a toll free number 9649499999 to avail these kits.

Under the GharGharBhojan campaign, NSS has offered cooked meals consisting of six chapatis, rice, one green vegetable, dal or any other pulse, and salad.

People in need of ration kits were also provided with the same. The non-profit launched a contact number for free food delivery at their doorstep in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

The ration kits had 15 kg flour, 5 kg raw rice, and 4 kg sugar, 2 litres soybean oil, 2 kg chickpea lentils, 1 kg salt, 500 grams chilli powder, 200 grams turmeric powder, 200 grams coriander powder, and 500 grams tea powder.

Being a part of a cause

“In the second wave, we served 29,203 families, with free-of-cost ration kits. We also cooked and distributed 18,010 cooked meals under the Ghar Ghar Bhojan campaign to the needy in Udaipur. We have a dedicated team of 50 staff members along with some volunteers who help us in reaching out of maximum people every day,” says Prashant.

The volunteers of NSS prepare and distribute fresh meals to the needy.

Most team members are its own staff members — a team of young people below the age of 35, who are all vaccinated.

Mohit Menaria, a member of NSS, says, “I feel happy to be a part of this huge cause; it is an amazing feeling to contribute here because very few get the opportunity to help those whom they haven’t met earlier.”

Prashant says that most of the costs are involved in the procurement of raw material, and getting it delivered at the doorstep of the beneficiary. But these costs are met through donations which are the only source of funding.

“We have constituted campaigns to spread awareness about the disease among the rural population. But due to lockdown in the state, commuting to different states for providing ration becomes tough and it is time-consuming to send help to the last-mile person,” he adds.

Way forward

Going ahead, NSS aims to reach out to 5,000 people every day and provide them with cooked meals, in addition to providing ration kits to 50,000 families within the next year.

“As the virus is reaching rural parts of India, we plan to create awareness among more and more people. By taking forward our free medicine distribution campaign, we can provide free of cost medicines to the last person in need,” says Prashant.

“We are running our skill development course in Udaipur, Rajasthan, and coming up with an initiative to provide online training for professional courses, in collaboration with a US-based company. This would further help us in making people capable of coming into mainstream society while building the nation,” he adds.
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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