We are in the midst of the second wave of COVID. Unlike 2020, there is a heavy burden on the healthcare system. There is a lack of hospital beds, oxygen, medication at certain pockets in the country and people are frantically looking for help. However, there is also a lot of goodness and solidarity happening around. Many would like to volunteer to help, but not sure how to go about doing it. There is a lot of information, websites, apps, both government and civil society groups, trying to make a difference. In this context, CHAI is sharing some necessary information for its collaborators to get involved and make a difference during this COVID crisis.
- CHAI will not be responsible for all that is happening through these platforms. You will have to figure out what is the best platform to work with.
- CHAI will not be responsible for your safety and protection. You will have to figure out what is feasible for you and take responsibility for your safety while getting involved.
- Everyone is very busy, stressed and handling multiple calls. Sometimes they take time to respond or cannot call back. Be patient when dealing with families, patients, vendors, hospital staff, etc.
- If they don’t respond on phone (especially vendors), WhatsApp them or keep trying.
- Officials are cracking down on those who share info that leads to black-market vendors. Always give a disclaimer (E.g. The availability of the resources mentioned is subject to change. We do not condone any black market practices and you must verify prices yourself, by discussing with the vendor directly. Please do not make advance payments or any financial transactions before verifying everything at your end.)
- Most supplies (beds, oxygen, medicines) are finishing very fast. You need to check availability in real-time and then respond to requests before sharing info.
WAYS TO VOLUNTEER
Track requests on your own Whatsapp groups, find sources on the sites given below / Twitter /Instagram (IG); verify and respond to requests.
- Follow accounts on Twitter / IG that are collating information. A few examples on IG are @covidaidresources @meghna_prakash @ubaidu_15 – these will lead you to other accounts that are providing info. You can help them verify/respond to the requests they amplify.
https://covid19-twitter.in/ – an excellent way to search Twitter for requests and availability. Check requests on Twitter, source solutions from various sites, verify and respond to the request.
- Sign up with existing apps/sites to volunteer with them (some options are given below).
Local NGOs are helping in various cities by delivering food, oxygen, support to patients. We will keep updating any leads on our website where you can join as a volunteer. You can visit this list at https://www.chai-india.org/covid-volunteering/. You can also assist organizations financially and a list of potential organization that you can assist will be updated at the same link.
- Verify sources being shared on WhatsApp groups: call and verify the information and shut down fake/outdated information.
- Beds, Oxygen, Medicines, Home Nurses, Food facilities, Ambulances, Cabs, are all areas that are needed. Requests are pouring in on social media – use the tools to search websites/Twitter / IG for solutions and respond after verification.
PLACES YOU CAN VOLUNTEER
https://covid19-twitter.in/ – an excellent way to search twitter for requests and availability. Check requests on twitter, source solutions from other sites, verify and respond to the request.
Social Media – particularly Twitter and Instagram - are the best sources at present for real-time information. A few other sources are given below; but any information needs to be verified before sharing in response to a request:
You may access these sites / groups directly.
If you need further guidance on ways to volunteer, you may contact Ms Rosemary Thomas.