Thursday, December 8

Plant-a-tree move in Cov victims’ memory

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A city-based organization has come forward to plant a tree in memory of everyone who has succumbed to Covid and whose friends and family members pay tribute to them on a dedicated online platform. The idea of initiating such a platform has been mooted by 24-year-old Soham Chatterjee who was in the headlines recently for singing Tera Mujhse Hai Pehle Ka Naata to his dying Covid-affected mother on a video call. If all goes well, the initiative will take off in June.
Ajay Mittal of Project Life Force (PLF), which had helped many patients with blood and plasma donors during the pandemic, was moved by Chatterjee’s idea of setting up a page called ‘Loss Stories’. Those who have lost their near and dear ones to Covid can share their memories in the page. The posts will be run past a moderator before being shared. “The idea is really touching. Apart from Project Life Force, I have another initiative called ‘eachoneplantone’. My partner, Pankaj Maloo, and I have a mission to plant a tree for every person who has lost their lives to Covid. Once a person contributes to ‘Loss Stories’, we at eachoneplantone.org will plant a tree anywhere in India,” Mittal said.
Mittal intends to plant 20 saplings the day after the launch of the platform. “Subsequently, we will take things forward once he informs us about the number of posts. We can plan a plantation drive for every 20 posts. We will update him about the numbers and share some pictures from drives too,” he said.

While deadlines never work for emotional healing, some feel that the immediate intensity of the shock after bereavement can be reduced through collective virtual remembrances. On May 17, Chatterjee first took to social media to share memories of his mother, Sanghamitra. In 10 days, his instagram post singing the Kishore Kumar number stands at 100,097 views. Nishi Puri Gupta, who lost her mother on May 3 to Covid, didn’t know Soham personally but could relate to his grief. She wrote to him saying she too had spoken to her dying mother on a video call. Arunima Ghoshal, who lost her 78-year-old father to Covid last October, reached out to Soham after reading on TOI about his plans for the online platform. Wishing him luck, she wrote to him saying: “My dad’s doctor was not as humane as your mom’s doctor – so I did not get to say my final goodbye to my dad. It has been over seven months now and every night before I go to sleep, I still wish/pray/hope for a miracle. I still feel that maybe one day he will call me and ask: ‘ki re aaj call korli na je!”

Initially, Chatterjee would get eight to 10 messages daily. “During the course of what transpired in the last two weeks, I’ve formed a few friendships online that have helped me keep my sanity in such turbulent times. I try to engage with people, sometimes between work hours or after I’m done for the day,” he said.

While deadlines never work for emotional healing, some feel that the immediate intensity of the shock after bereavement can be reduced through collective virtual remembrances. On May 17, Chatterjee first took to social media to share memories of his mother, Sanghamitra. In 10 days, his instagram post singing the Kishore Kumar number stands at 100,097 views. Nishi Puri Gupta, who lost her mother on May 3 to Covid, didn’t know Soham personally but could relate to his grief. She wrote to him saying she too had spoken to her dying mother on a video call. Arunima Ghoshal, who lost her 78-year-old father to Covid last October, reached out to Soham after reading on TOI about his plans for the online platform. Wishing him luck, she wrote to him saying: “My dad’s doctor was not as humane as your mom’s doctor – so I did not get to say my final goodbye to my dad. It has been over seven months now and every night before I go to sleep, I still wish/pray/hope for a miracle. I still feel that maybe one day he will call me and ask: ‘ki re aaj call korli na je!”

Initially, Chatterjee would get eight to 10 messages daily. “During the course of what transpired in the last two weeks, I’ve formed a few friendships online that have helped me keep my sanity in such turbulent times. I try to engage with people, sometimes between work hours or after I’m done for the day,” he said.

Source: Times of India

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