The resurgence of COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc all over India. This pandemic has destroyed many families. Masks, sanitisers, social distancing and curfews have become the new normal. With each passing day, the nation has been witnessing an alarming shortage of beds, hospitals, plasma, and oxygen cylinders. Barak Valley has registered almost 1348 active Covid-19 cases and the number is increasing exponentially.
Team News core has so far brought to you multiple heart-warming and inspiring stories of young men and women from Barak Valley coming forward to offer help and assistance during the pandemic. Today, News Core shares with you an exclusive interview with another such team going by the name 'Beat the Need'.
What is 'Beat the Need' all about?
We are a not-for-profit organisation; a social service-driven team initially consisting of 15 volunteers. During the initial days, our main intention was to facilitate the smooth functioning of plasma donation in our valley. But after several interactions with our Deputy Commissioner, Keerthi Jalli, our Additional Deputy Commissioner Sumit Sattawan and Dr Dawipayan Deb, from SMCH who has recently started a telemedicine service for COVID-19 patients in this Valley, we have expanded our operations to even providing information regarding hospital bed availability, ICU beds availability and oxygen supply in the valley.
Who is the man behind this idea? How do you people work?
As I said before this is a cumulative endeavour of 15 people. All the volunteers present here are from different walks of life with different skill sets. One is a doctor, one is great with public relations, one has created the website, one has suggested the name 'Beat the Need'.
What is the problem you are facing with plasma donation or Blood donation?
There is a false notion in our town; people here think if they visit SMCH, they might come in contact with the virus. We are trying our level best to break this notion.
What kind of steps have you taken to break this notion in our valley?
We have recorded the statement of a coordinator from SMCH which we will share on our social media handles soon. We also want social media influencers, people from the media fraternity, people from cultural fraternity and everyone who has enormous contacts with the public to come forward and help us in breaking this notion.
How has 'Beat the Need' served people till now?
We are working on plasma donation. We have convinced all the Covid-19 positive patients present in SMCH to donate plasma as soon as they recover. We have donated food items to Covid-19 positive patients free of cost. And we have also delivered food items to COVID-19 positive patients, staying alone in Silchar.
How do you fund such activities? How do you raise funds?
Till now we have done everything with our own resources. Our volunteers have raised money for all such activities themselves. In future, we might opt for fundraising as well.
Did you receive any help from other organisations in our valley?
Yes, the healthcare sector has been very cooperative since our inception. Organisations such as SMILE, MARWARI YUVA MANCH have helped us with blood donation and plasma donation.
Do you have any message for other NGOs in our valley?
Yes, definitely. We will urge the other NGOs from our valley to come forward in this crisis and help us build a strong strategy for plasma as well as blood donation along with the administration.
Do you have any message for our audience and potential plasma donors?
Barak Valley can only help Barak Valley. Every youth sitting at home or outside should unite and help each other using social media. This is not the end of the pandemic, the pandemic will return and we all have to be prepared for everything. And also we will request everyone to say no to black marketing which has been happening for a long time now. The hike in the price of essentials has become a major issue. And last but not the least, we would like to request everyone to act responsibly by wearing a mask, by maintaining social-distancing and by regularly sanitising their hands. And we would also like to request all the Covid-19 positive patients to please come forward and donate plasma at SMCH. Team 'Save the Northeast' will donate a sapling to all the plasma donors as a token of appreciation.
Multiple organisations like ‘Beat the Need’ have come forward voluntarily to help the district administration and our health care sector in terms of blood donation and plasma donation. Team 'Beat the Need' currently has more than 169 volunteers. It has reached out and helped 100 plus people till today. They have a Facebook page in the name of 'Beat the Need' and they have a website www.barakvalleyplasma.in where they maintain data about eligible plasma donors, availability of beds in hospitals, availability of ambulances etc.