Tuesday, December 6

COVID families find ways to express their gratitude to volunteers who help them

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As Kolkata fights back the pandemic, reports of how citizen volunteers have been bringing succour to the affected families have instilled hope. And now, there emerge heartwarming stories of how the recovering patients are finding ways to express their gratitude for the strangers who are rushing in to help them, often without any commercial consideration.Take the case of Rathin Banerjee*, an octogenarian living in Ballygaunge. He was running temperature for a few days. His son, who works in Bangalore, was stuck there and couldn’t have flown back to Kolkata by any means. Upon knowing the situation, youngsters from the old man’s neighbourhood took him to the hospital. Once he got back home, the families of these kind youngsters received sweet boxes on their doorsteps as a surprise. Rathin’s son arranged it from Bangalore. “It was my neighbours who saved my father’s life. I couldn’t thank them enough,” said Bratin from Bangalore.
Narrating one of his memorable experiences, Subhendu Debnath, a volunteer from Dum Dum area, shared on his Facebook page when an elderly couple suffering from COVID offered the volunteers a gold chain that they had kept aside for their daughter’s wedding.

How simple and heartwarming gestures make life worth living
Film editor Anirban Maity, who works as a volunteer with his friends, had a similar story to share. Recalling his experiences, he said, “We helped a gentleman whose brother was suffering from COVID-19. We arranged oxygen, medicines, and later admitted him to a hospital. When he got better, his family pledged to help me. They text me almost regularly to check if I’m in some crisis.”
Turni Dhar, who has also been working relentlessly to help families in distress, shared, “I will never forget how Chandralekha Roy, a COVID survivor, thanked me and Rumadi — the nurse who took care of her. Chandralekhadi’s daughter stays in the US. She urgently needed a nurse because her mother had many health issues. After Chandralekhadi recovered, she took Rumadi out for lunch and got me two packets of my favourite sweets.”

oken of gratitude means a lot
Not just goodwill gestures, there have been instances, where families have come forward to help the groups that saved their lives. Ritankar Das, who works in Kalindi area, witnessed a man gifting their volunteers’ group an oxygen concentrator after the recovery of a family member. “There are many people who come back to donate PPE kits and masks as tokens of gratitude. But getting an oxygen concentrator was a big deal for us. I still remember, Sambhu Chowdhury, a resident of Kalindi, had called for help at 1.30 am. His brother needed immediate hospitalisation. Later, when he got back home, Shambhuda gave us a concentrator that we now give out to COVID families in need. Once a septuagenarian wanted to touch my feet,” Ritankar recalled.Theatre actor Joyraj Bhattacherjee and his friends have been running a canteen in a slum area for almost a year now. They not only serve people who are suffering from COVID, but also to those who lost their jobs to the pandemic. Talking about his biggest return gift, he said, “Last year, we gifted a tricycle to a specially-abled man, who lost both his mobility and job to the pandemic. This year, he has been delivering food to COVID-hit families on his tricycle. What more can we ask for?”

Source: Times of India

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