Friday, December 9

Stars lend a helping hand to support Covid patients

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Depression is a common adverse impact of many Covid-19 patients undergoing treatment in isolation. With the hope of helping Covid-19 patients cope with anxiety, singer Lopamudra Mitra has decided to offer free online entertainment to patients. All that patients need to do is register on a WhatsApp number for free and submit the Covid test report. Mitra’s team with coordinate with the patients and fix up a time when she will be available to sing to lift their mood.
On Friday, Lopamudra came up with this idea of reaching out to patients struggling with mental health issues while being in isolation. “I don’t have any training in counselling but if singing and talking to patients make them feel better, I am always ready to help. I intend to begin these sessions on Facebook live or on zoom from May 21 onwards. As of now, we have planned two slots weekly. I will be happy if others want to join me in this endeavor,” she said.Composer Joy Sarkar is expected to join her too in some sessions. By Monday, more than 150 patients had already registered. Most of them feel that being in home isolation has subjected them to ruminate, feel hopeless and helpless, and, ultimately, depressed. “We are a family of eight. Since April, my family is reeling under the Covid crisis. I am the sixth person in my family who has been infected. Everyone has recovered but there is no denying how difficult it has been psychologically to deal with this health crisis. Lopa-di’s offer is a ray of hope for me. I am looking forward to being able to speak to her and listen to her sing,” Uttarpara-based Partha Pratim Banerjee.Meanwhile, the Advertising Club, Calcutta, has joined hands with 6 Ballygunje Place to distribute food to at least 500 street dwellers for the next two weeks. According to Kanchan Datta, president, Advertising Club, Calcutta, “In these troubled times, all of us have to do our bit, and make the effort ourselves by coming together. With contributions from others, we can ensure our fight against hunger lasts longer than two weeks.”

Vikram Chatterjee
Even a month back, celebs from Kolkata were primarily helping in amplifying messages. While they are still shouldering that responsibility, there are many who are walking the extra mile to support otherwise. Recently, actor Swastika Mukherjee, celebrity couple Neel Bhattacharjee and Trina Saha set an example by donating blood. On social media, Swastika captioned the photo of her blood donation with the lines: “Katha toh onek dilen, ebar ektu rokto din. Aar songe bondhu bandhobidero niye jaan. (Have given your words on enough occasions. Now donate blood. And take your friends along as well)’. Around the same time, singer Aneek Dhar, actors Vikram Chatterjee and Ankush Hazra took the initiative of providing free lunch and dinner to the doorstep of Covid patients. “We have already served approximately 65/70 meals daily across South Kolkata. We are working on extending this service in north and central Kolkata as well. We are trying to use our fanclubs to start offering the same services across Bengal. In future, we are planning to do Facebook live shows to raise funds so that we can continue providing these free meals,” Vikram said.
Recently, actor Jisshu U Sengupta spoke to composer-turned-director Indraadip Dasgupta to set up a safe home for patients. Initial hurdles of being unable to find a house soon were overcome when Trinamool Congress MLA Debasish Kumar offered the premises of Bani Chakra Music School near Lake Market. “I am overwhelmed by the support of friends like Namit Bajoria. Besides, an NGO like The Bengal has been extremely supportive. Thanks to everyone’s help, beds, masks, oxygen cylinders and PPE kits have all been organized. Some of our friends in the medical profession are also pitching in. We will start operational from Wednesday. On Tuesday, there will be a dry run with nurses and doctors,” Jisshu said.

ndraadip Dasgupta
Compared to 2020, this year has seen a huge increase in the number of Tollywood celebrities who are personally helping people. Has the avalanche of deaths in the second wave made celebs more sensitive to the distress of commoners? Or have celebrities become more empathetic? According to Jisshu, it is a combination of various factors. “Of course, empathy is there. We have also lost too many people close to us. I just want to do my bit to help people. When I started off, I didn’t even know this initiative would organically grow this big,” he said.

Indraadip, on his part, pointed out: “More than the death, it is the dearth of basic medical infrastructure that has hit me. As a taxpayer, citizen and human being, getting health facilities is our birthright. The pandemic exposed where we now stand. That thought, I suppose, is prompting many to take up these personal initiatives.”

Source: Times of India

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