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Helping Hand: Rising to the occasion

Rajendra K. Saboo, former Rotary International President

Rajendra K. Saboo talks about public service in a crisis-stricken time

The Rotary Club Chandigarh has been doing its bit to help those serving on the frontline. We have been supplying medical essentials like gloves, N96 masks and 3-ply masks for the use of the paramedic staff. An estimated fifty N95 masks, twenty-five thousand 3-ply masks, over two-hundred PP gowns and ten-thousand examination masks have been supplied to PGIMER (Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research). Looking at the paucity of PPE sets, we have also fixed three-thousand PPE kits to be supplied to the hospital. Two-thousand sets are to be arranged by 6th April, while another consignment of a thousand sets is expected by the 7th of this month. We are presently also making arrangements for about five-hundred PPP suits to be supplied to GMCH (Government Medical College & Hospital) Sector-32, for the use of medics.

What prompted you to take the initiative?

We realised the plight of the daily wage-earners in the city. They have been left stranded without food or shelter, as a result of the lockdown. The Rotarians have always been known to rise to the occasion. My wife Usha, the members of the Chandigarh Rotary Club and I have spearheaded a task force to assist the medical authorities. So far, we have already spent upwards of Rs 12 lakhs for medical supplies, and are committed to spending Rs 20 lakhs to feed the destitute and the medical staff. The idea for providing the junior doctors and nurses with food cropped up when we saw how the cafeterias in hospitals have been overcrowded and overloaded. Over 2,100 kg of rice was provided to the Chandigarh Administration as soon as the lockdown was first announced. We have got Rotarians from clubs in Mohali and Panchkula, working in tandem with the administration, to contain the crisis. Rotarians Neenu Vij and Dr Seema Gupta have been doing a good job in ensuring an uninterrupted supply of ration to over one hundred and twenty-six families in the Saketri village. We have also arranged for the supply of milk for the children and pregnant women in the area. The Inner Wheel Club members are also tending to over fifty families of daily-wagers. We have also roped in resident welfare associations and some other philanthropic organisations for assistance.

Your message?

I am thankful to the frontline fighters. The migrants and daily-wagers are in my thoughts and prayers. I urge everyone to extend a helping hand to those in need. The most of us are fortunate that we are living in the comfort of our house, and not holed up in some jhuggi-jhopri. All the groceries are delivered at our doorstep. But there are people out there in the streets who are starving. So, can we all please pitch in together and contribute some small amounts of money to help them out



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