SAMBAL: A group of dedicated humans in Sambalpur, Odisha, India. From cremation of unclaimed dead bodies to arranging blood for a needy patient, they are just a phone call away and the job is done. And now the Oxygen Bank.
Covid pandemic is at it’s peak in this small sleepy town of western Odisha. Beds and oxygen cylinders are falling short. Patients are gasping for oxygen in the hospitals and home isolations. And the reason is not the lack of availability of oxygen. Odisha, in fact is an oxygen surplus state providing oxygen to states all over the country. The problem is rather the shortage of oxygen cylinders. And when this was realised, ideas came into the minds of the members of Sambal. Small numbers of cylinders were arranged and a bank was created, where patients in home isolation or on the way to hospital were attended to by the dedicated team of Sambal, 24×7.
But, arranging more cylinders was not possible when on the other hand, the number of patients increased days by day. All avenues were explored to get cylinders, but either the cylinders vanished into the Hoarding stores of greedy businessman or in the houses of panicked citizens. Supply of empty cylinders was no where in sight. Funds to purchase the cylinder from far away places of other states was another problem.8
But as the saying goes, “Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way”. Futher if the intentions are good, God send someone for the rescue.
Juhar Paribar of Mumbai is another group of people from the western part of Odisha, some settled and some working in Mumbai away from their home towns. Definitely the emotions for their place of origin never fades. Learning about these problems, the group spins into action. Meetings followed by fund raising and SOS to Paschim Odisha Paribar(Western Odisha Family) were conducted. Even from friends from abroad, funds were received.
Oxygen cylinders were sent to Sambalpur and Sambal Oxygen Bank was filled with cylinders.The idea did not get confined to Sambalpur. Similar banks were opened in Bolangir, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Kalahandi with the help of social work organisations.Oxygen cylinders were purchased directly from factories and sent to required places by the Juhar Foundation Mumbai. Patients were supplied with oxygen by the dedicated team of volunteers round the clock.
But the pandemic is at it’s peak. Any numbers of cylinders are not able to fulfill the ever increasing demand. Even the funds to purchase cylinders are getting exhausted.
In such a time, a donation from an unexpected corner was inspiring for others and sure more will follow. Photophilics, a group of amateur photographers decided to come forward.An instant meeting by its members were called and 1 lac rupees were collected for donation to the Juhar Foundation to supply cylinders for Sambal.
More such banks are in pipeline. Rairakhol, Atthmalik, Sonepur, Baudh, Sundergarh are in plans for such initiatives. Juhar Foundation members are working out plans to reach out and help the needy.
Volunteers of Sambal, the saviors are working tirelessly to meet the growing demand from the growing number of patients.
But funds to meet this demand is not easy to garner. The clubs, social groups and volunteers needs to donate and strengthen the helping hands of Juhar Paribar and Samabal or any other such groups associated with.
In the entire episode, the hands that were seen in ଜୁହାର (Juhar – salute) ମୁଦ୍ରା (Mudra – gesture) before elections are no where to be seen. The men called leaders have been hibernating in their luxury. Funds that should come voluntarily from these hands are missing. And the common man has to undertake numerous ଜୁହାରs (Juhars) and ମୁଣ୍ଡିଆs (Mundias) – to go around begging for help – for his bare survival in this Covid inflicted world.
Juhar (salute) to the Pashcim Odisha Mumbai Paribar and the only Sambala(resource) now to fight the crisis – The volunteers of Sambal group, Sambalpur.
(you can be a part of this social cause.Come forward to help in this crusial time. Write your comment to reach the Juhar foundation or Sambal group)