New York, May 18 (PTI) As India battles a ravaging second wave of COVID-19, New York-based social activist Prem Bhandari is spearheading and lending support to efforts to ship oxygen concentrators and other essential medical supplies to cities and towns across the country.
Bhandari, the chairman of Jaipur Foot USA, said he has given 21 oxygen concentrators on behalf of Jaipur Foot USA to 'Breath Bank', an initiative launched in Jodhpur to help provide the critically-needed medical equipment to COVID19 patients.
Bhandari lauded the 'first-of-its-kind' initiative 'Breath Bank' that rents oxygen machines to COVID patients. Bhandari said the initiative, an idea of entrepreneur Nirmal Gehlot, should be replicated in other cities, towns and villages across India to help combat the shortage of oxygen concentrators amid the pandemic and ensure critical supply of oxygen to those in need.
He said while hospitals in big cities can provide oxygen supplies to their patients, as the pandemic spreads in rural towns and areas, there is need for such initiatives to help the medical fraternity provide critical care to COVID-19 patients.
Following the donation by Bhandari of over 20 machines to the Breath Bank, many other members of the Indian diaspora in the US have also come forward and donated resources and supplies such as oxygen concentrators to the initiative. The Rajasthan Association of North America has sent oxygen concentrators through Jaipur Foot USA to SEVA Bhakti.
Indian film maker and producer Manish Mundra has sent over 535 oxygen concentrators to the Jodhpur Breath Bank. The concentrators are being sent from Moscow. Bhandari said Jaipur Foot USA, through local partner Vader Charitable Trust, is reaching remote places in Rajasthan with supplies of oxygen concentrators.
Jaipur Foot USA is also launching the ‘Oxygen on Wheel Program’, an initiative that will be inaugurated on Tuesday by Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti-BMVSS (BMVSS) founder Padma Bhushan D.R. Mehta, former DG BSF and the security advisor of Ram Janambhoomi Trust, Ayodhya, K K Sharma and Deputy Consul General of India in New York Shatrughna Sinha. PTI YAS CK