Latest
Features

Student Initiatives Lend a Virtual Helping Hand

The current scenario of the COVID-19 pandemic is embedded with fear and distraught. Acting as a blessing to many, the student communities from various colleges across Delhi have taken up initiatives to help and provide resources. Read on to know more about the same.

Disclaimer: DU Beat advises readers to exercise user discretion while utilizing the below-mentioned resources.

Following the second wave of the pandemic, the situation has been progressively worsening all across the country with a magnanimous rise in the number of cases and a severe dearth of access to resources. With panic and frenzy set all over, multiple students and societies from DU have risen to the occasion and lent their support to the masses. From rigorous verification and handling helpdesks to creating vital databases, the efforts of the student body are huge and deserve to be recognised. DU Beat brings to you a compilation of major student initiatives across the city.

  • COVID Aid Resources (@covidaidresources on Instagram)
    Run by eight Statistics students of Lady Shri Ram College, the community initiative directly involves around 200-250 people in the work of finding and verification of leads along with the help they receive via the means of the messages on their Instagram page (which has a reach of over 100K).

 

Resources Available: Mainly focuses on oxygen supply, hospital beds and plasma but is open to help out with other resources on demand.

Verification: The organisation doesn’t assure the reliability or quality of the lead but only provides seller/vendor-procured information. They call and cross-verify the information and geo locate the source. They have started adding swipe-up links to the location. Along with the same, they respond to personal requests and in the process, expand the database.

Frequency of Verification: They majorly verify information on a daily basis but for materials in high demand, they do intensify the verification twice a day. The process of verification is continuously going on as well to cater to the needs of people.

How to reach out?
Those in need or who want to share leads can direct message them on their Instagram handle.

  • Miranda House COVID Helpdesk
    With a core team of 30-50 people, the Miranda House Helpdesk has a total of 300+ volunteers working day in and day out to provide genuine verified leads to support services during the pandemic.

Resources Available: Oxygen, Beds, Plasma, Home ICU, Psychologists, Doctors, RTPCR, Ambulance, Food/Tiffin and Vaccination

Verification: They follow a first-hand verification method. Every morning the team personally calls/texts every possible lead in the morning and only once they receive an affirmative response updates it on the sheet.

Frequency of Verification:
For resources like oxygens and beds, the data is being constantly updated on the sheet.
For doctors, psychologists and other things, the process is largely static and collated frequently.

How to reach out?
The Helpdesk is maintaining a sheet which is being updated constantly.

  • 180DC Consulting, Sri Guru Gobind Singh College Of Commerce
    Operated by around 40 students of the 180DC Consulting society of SGGSCC, the organisation has got together resources that are thoroughly verified constantly on a sheet maintained in the bio and circulated on WhatsApp.

 

Resources Available: Remdesivir, Fbiflu, Tocilizumab, Oxygen Cylinders, Oxygen Cans, Refilling Stations, Empty Cylinders, Concentrators, Hospital Beds (ICU, Oxygen, Non-oxygen), Home ICU Beds, Food Supplies, Influencers Magnifying Reach, Ambulance Services, Testing Centers, Vaccine Centers, Telephonic/Remote Consultation, Blood Banks, Home Assistance, Mental Health Resources, etc.
Resources are available only in Delhi NCR but due to the scarcity of ICU and oxygen beds, they are providing information from places like Gurgoan, Noida, Panipat, Ambala and Chandigarh.

Verification: They primarily WhatsApp the suppliers and proceed to call in case they don’t receive a reply. But with the number of leads declining everyday, they have also started putting up crowdsourced leads which are third party verified (verified by the third party personally) and haven’t crossed the one hour mark from the time they have sent/posted the lead. They provide fewer leads on their database because they believe in providing legitimate leads. Most importantly, all their resources come with a disclaimer, and they expect all the users of their database to go through it before using their data.

Frequency of Verification: They verify information twice a day, but keep updating the sheets whose resources exhaust extremely fast (Oxygen, Beds, Medicinal Drugs, Ambulance) every 3 hours approximately. Rest are updated twice/thrice a day. Once they update a sheet, they put up a story on their Instagram page, so that people can go and check the resources out.

How to reach out?
Those in need can check out the sheet in their bio or direct message them on their Instagram page or email them.

  • Placement Cell, Kirori Mal College
    With a team of over 30 students, Team Avenues – The Placement Cell of Kirori Mal College has been trying its level best to ensure that they leverage their professional and personal reach to help people in need of plasma at the right time. From highlighting its need and importance, cross-verifying eligibility criteria for donation, to verifying the donors, their team is making an honest attempt to fulfil the initiative’s purpose

.

Resources Available: Plasma Donor Bank

Verification: A dedicated subsection of their team is undertaking telephonic verification of the responses received by them, every 48 hours. The medical document verification would be done at the plasma donation site, as per the established protocol. They will be collaborating with an organisation with an established outreach in different States as informed to DU Beat by the Team Avenues. By doing so, they intend to share the collated list so that the donor can be matched with the recipient. In addition to this, once the list has been collated, they will post it on our Facebook Page so that people can access it. Timely edits will be made to the list as and when the donors require them to do so.

Frequency of Verification: Currently, they are constantly trying their best to verify the information as soon as they receive it. They’ve made it a point to call each and every newly registered donor within 48 hours, to verify their credibility, eligibility and whether they have donated plasma previously.

How to reach out?
Interested donors can fill out the form to check whether you are eligible for plasma donation (as circulated by PC KMC): As for those in need of plasma, they would shortly be releasing the list of donors through their channels and would keep updating it from time to time.

  • National Service Scheme, Shivaji College (@nssshivaji)

The National Service Scheme unit of Shivaji College, University of Delhi has launched its campaign AASHA -“Let’s spread facts not fear” with around 100+ volunteers and faculty members.

Resources Available: Under this campaign, the organisation aims to act as a virtual guide through which one will be able to find verified contact details of covid medicinal equipment, myth busters, COVID-19 helpline number, health and wellness videos and much more.

Verification: It possesses volunteers all across DU and the project hasn’t restricted itself to its own college alone. The data is collected from various sources.

Frequency of Verification: The data is double-checked by the volunteers to provide as much verified data as possible. It’s verified after every three hours.

How to Reach Out?: People may reach out to NSS, Shivaji through their Instagram/Facebook handle and through their NSS core team members which include:
Nisha (President – +919306131328)
Instagram

  • National Service Scheme, Hindu College (@nsshindu)

The National Service Scheme unit of Hindu College is working alongside Covid Warriors Hindu College an initiative by one of their own volunteers. The core team consists of 8-10 students. Further, there are 3 group leaders each for the 4 WhatsApp groups and they are joined by the NSS volunteers.

Resources Available: They have been providing leads for Hospital Beds (ICU/Normal), Ambulance (ventilator/normal), Medicines and Plasma Donors.

Verification: They are working on 4 different Whatsapp groups for each requirement. Any query that has been posted on the main group is taken up by the group leaders of the individual group. The leader forwards the various leads to the volunteer group who verify the same before sending the contact details to the patient or his/her attendee.

Frequency of Verification: Before providing any contact to the patient the lead is cross verified to check the real-time availability.

How to Reach Out?: Anyone who is in need of any help for the COVID-19 patients can reach out to them on their Instagram page or can join the WhatsApp group created by covid warriors.

  • Enactus, Kirori Mal College (@enactuskmc)

The Research and Development Department of the organisation is overseeing all the tasks related to providing resources. Every member of the organization is scouting for resources. A total of 8-10 members are personally verifying those leads and posting them regularly on our Instagram handle: @enactuskmc.

Resources Available: Currently, they are providing leads for beds, oxygen cylinders, concentrators and refills, testing facilities, plasma donors, food facilities for COVID patients, medicines, testing kits and other related equipment. Their objective is to cover any and every resource across the country that could be helpful.

Verification: They use WhatsApp for most of our communications. The organisation has separate groups for each task which increases efficiency and eliminates the scope of error or confusion. Their personal networks and personal contacts are being used extensively to get these leads. They are also on the lookout for reporting fraudulent leads and have a system in place to process any specific requests.

Frequency of Verification: They are verifying the leads thrice a day in slots of 3 hours each. They also have a group of members coordinating and managing varied tasks and leads in each slot.

How to Reach Out?: One can directly message them at @enactuskmc, where they try to the best of their ability to revert timely. Additionally, they also possess an email ID and contact number associated with their handle which can be used for communication in an emergency.

Instagram

  • National Service Scheme, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (@nss.sbsc)

NSS’s COVID-19 Helpline is a social initiative taken by the NSS branch of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College. There are a total of 65 participants associated with our helpline who are working on a volunteering basis.

Resources Available: They are providing leads for Oxygen Beds, Non-Oxygen Beds, Oxygen Cylinders (Refills Also), Oxygen Concentrators, Food Services, Medications’ Availability & other related services like verification of frauds, acting as a help platform etc.

Verification: All the information that the volunteers receive, which might in some way help avert the crisis, is shared in a collective group on WhatsApp. From there, all that information is rechecked by the Verification team. The Design team then prepares comprehensive graphics for all the verified leads which are then shared on our social media handles by the Instagram and Twitter teams. Moreover, the Social Change team makes content to raise awareness on COVID-19 do’s and don’ts, vaccination process, plasma donation, etc. And all the other volunteers are trying to complete the requirements in their local areas or any that they may find on social platforms.

Frequency of Verification: The team is verifying information each day but that doesn’t account for the re-verification of the old information which had been shared earlier. The volunteers are personally verifying whatever sources they may find.

How to Reach Out?: People can reach out to them by directly messaging them on their official IG platform of NSS Covid-19 Helpline i.e, @nss.covidhelpline or by tagging them on their IG Stories for the same. They can also reach out to them through @NssSbsc on Twitter.

Instagram

  • 180DC Consulting, Daulat Ram College
    With a team of 30 people, the Daulat Ram College branch of 180DC Consulting has been offering verification services to the masses.

 

Resources Available: Pan-India verified leads for beds, medicine, food, oxygen and other COVID related resources.

Verification: When they receive any query or requirement for anything they go through the already existing resource base on the internet, verify it personally in real-time and then pass on the information to the one who requires it.

Frequency of Verification: Before they pass on the information to any patient or their family member, they verify the resource personally in real-time so that they can immediately get access to the resource.

How to reach out?: Anyone can directly message them on their Instagram page or reach out to any team members of the organization.

  • National Service Scheme, Sri Venkateswara College (@nss.svc)

The COVID-19 initiative is being organized by the National Service Scheme of Sri Venkateswara College. A group of 40 students is working on this initiative.

Resources Available: They have been coming across a lot of leads from all over the internet. So, they began with verification of the leads that they came across and now they provide leads for oxygen can and refill, plasma donors, hospital beds, Home ICU and Nurses and medical supplies for COVID relief.

Verification: They have allocated different agendas for each team. The leads generation and verification teamwork on verified leads, the database team maintains and upkeep the database of resources and the social media team creates stories and posts to circulate.

Frequency of Verification: The information is verified every 2 hours. Since the leads are exhausting quickly, they are trying their best to make sure that they keep a tab on the leads posted.

How to Reach Out?: They are active on their social media handles and have been working to cater to all the requirements that they come across.

Instagram

  • Enactus, Janki Devi Memorial College

In addition to the members of Enactus JDMC, the helpdesk is a collective effort of Enactus and 60 volunteers working relentlessly around the clock to verify information.

Resources Available: Leads for ICU/oxygen beds, plasma, oxygen cylinders, and medicines including remdisivir

Verification: Everything they put is personally verified by one or more of their team members. They call/text and verify the availability of the resource ourselves. They also try to gather information regarding the number of available resources so we can abstain from putting finished leads.

Frequency of Verification: They are working around the clock for verifying, everything that they put on a particular day is verified within 2 hours of putting up the links for the resource.

How to reach out?: Those in need can direct message them if they require anything and they deal with it on priority basis. If anyone wants to volunteer and help Enactus in verifying the information, they can register for the same here.

Instagram

  • Student’s Federation of India, Delhi University

Run by the Delhi University Coordination Committee of Student’s Federation of India (SFI). Its activists and committee members shall be handling the process. They have initiated a Google Form to collect the details of students from Delhi University (or from any other university in Delhi) who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last four months and are willing to donate plasma to save someone else’s life. Those interested are requested to register their names in the form and an SFI volunteer will reach out to them.

  • Technological Initiatives

Along with help desks, students are also generating online resources to navigate COVID resources. Developed by Apratim Shrivastav, a student at Delhi Technological University (DTU), this Twitter bot helps in searching COVID related relief posts on Twitter easily. The working is extremely simple. One needs to simply add in the city, resource requirement and specifications if any, and the bot searches Twitter for the most relevant responses.
The tool can be accessed at https://www.apratim.codes/covid-twitter-bot/

Additionally, started by three Indian Institute of Technology Delhi alumni, CovRelief tries to centralise verified information from various sources in one place in order to aid the dissemination of resources to those in need. Milan Roy, Swapnil Sharma and Pranit Ganvir developed the website to provide non-profit tracking of hospital beds.
Link to the website

Read Also: COVID Aid Resources – Compilation by DU Beat

Featured Image Credits: Comodo One

Himasweeta Sarma
[email protected]

Mehul Joshi
[email protected]

Author