Ankit Gupta And CAG Put Their Health On Line To Help COVID-19 Patients

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HealthCare Heroes Awards 2022: Ankit Gupta And CAG Put Their Health On Line To Help COVID-19 Patients

Who: Ankit Gupta and Citizens Action Group (CAG) 

WhatAnkit Gupta and Citizens Action Group’s tireless efforts in providing COVID-19 essentials, ferrying patients and pregnant women in private cars turned into ambulances, and providing post pandemic relief to individuals and businesses.

Why: Ankit and CAG members risked their own health by ferrying and admitting patients in hospitals and coming in close with COVID-19 patients. They still have the mental trauma of witnessing first hand, the ravages of the pandemic. 

As the world battled COVID-19 it became clear how woefully unprepared all countries were to fight the pandemic. India with the second largest population spread over the seventh-largest country in the world had its own insurmountable challenges, Starting with a poor healthcare system to community transmission during festivals to vaccine hesitancy. Common citizens and civil society joined the administration in the fight against this large-scale outbreak.  

Ankit Gupta a Urdu and Hindi poet and content writer, had helped the Delhi Riots victims of 2020. He and a local citizen group did relief work for riot victims. When Delhi was in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ankit sprung into action once again. Ankit used to spend the day tirelessly collecting information on COVID-19 essentials like hospital beds, plasma donors, oxygen cylinders, food deliveries etc. while keeping a tab on the requests flooding the social media. 

Birth of Citizens Action Group (CAG)

Citizens Action Group

While helping people in distress, Ankit came across like minded individuals who were also involved in COVID-19 relief work. Citizens Action Group (CAG) was born. It is a group consisting of civil society members, composed mostly of working professionals. They provided all the necessary resources to COVID-19 patients and their kin. More volunteers started joining CAG and this Delhi-centric effort assumed nationwide proportions. Soon the group became more than 300 strong with Pan India presence.

Impactful work of CAG

As Ankit and some members of CAG were involved in relief work during the Delhi Riots, during the COVID-19 pandemic he started getting SOS calls from the people he had helped earlier. CAG undertook a plethora of relief activities during the pandemic. They distributed ration kits which consisted of essential food items and lasted 10 days, to migrant workers, daily wage workers, and denotified communities. They also distributed food packets of soyabean biryani, taking special care of the macronutrient needs of the recipients. CAG distributed 6 lakh ration kits and food packets all over India. 

Citizens Action Group

Ankit and CAG helped patients and their families with hospital admissions. They provided support by using their private cars as ambulances and ferrying COVID-19 patients and pregnant women to the hospital. Although Ankit and other members wore PPE kits and took precautions this was an effort fraught with danger of infection as it involved close proximity with COVID-19 positive patients. Ankit tells OnlyMyHealth’s HealthCare, that though he was scared of getting infected and by chance infecting others, he told himself that this needs to be done.

To help the COVID-19 patients and their kin dealing with mental health problems like anxiety, depression etc. they arranged free counseling by a psychologist and therapist.

The group also continued their COVID-19 essential relief help and streamlined their efforts to quickly help those in need. One of the team members became the point of contact for the patient, while others searched for what was required. Once they had the information, they shared it with the patient or his family. They developed efficient processes like verifying medicine availability and putting a time-stamp so that the patients and their attendants may get to know about the availability.

Citizens Action Group

After the second wave ebbed CAG concentrated on rehabilitation work of restarting businesses and also helped people in need with funding for their work. About 100 families were able to restart work due to CAG’s efforts. They helped school children by distributing mobile/laptop for online education.

Ankit and other CAG members slept for as little as 3 hours a day. They faced anxiety if they switched off their mobile phone, so their phones were always on. The relief work affected Ankit so much that even 5 months after the second wave ebbed he still has flashbacks of patients, faces bouts of depression, dietary disorders. He was bed ridden due to this and has still not fully recovered and is going through therapy. Other volunteers are facing the same issues. 

If Ankit’s tireless work during this pandemic has inspired or moved you, do cast your vote for him. Here is how you can vote for your favorite nominee for Jagran New Media & OnlyMyHealth’s HealthCare Heroes Awards 2022. 

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