Making a difference in Covid times!

Alok Dev with his sanitizer-dispensing robot
Alok Dev with his sanitizer-dispensing robot

Child scientist

The parents of Alok Dev sent their fourth grade son to a nearby dance school during the lockdown to learn dancing. They didn’t want their son to waste his precious time sitting the whole day in front of the T.V. or with a mobile or simply annoying his siblings or parents like other children.

But the boy, studying at Govindapuram Kendriya Vidyalaya in Bengaluru, was interested in making robots. He went to Savad teacher, who runs a robotic centre close to his house, to learn how to make one.

Alok had been hearing that hand hygiene is essential in the fight against Covid-19. He wondered: Why not make a robot that dispenses the sanitizer, so that one does not need to touch the bottle at all?

And he succeeded in making one.

“It was nice to see him make the most of this time and create things that are useful,” says his mother Poornima with a big smile.

Now Alok’s mind is turned towards making a robot that will fold clothes. “I need to make something useful for society,” says the ten-year-old boy. “My dream is to become a robotics scientist when I grow up and create robots that can make life easier for humans,” says the future scientist with a heart for humanity.

Shravya with U.S. President Donald Trump
Shravya Annapareddy with U.S. President Donald Trump

U.S. President honours Indian girl

U.S. President Donald Trump honoured hundreds of Corona warriors on May 15. One of them was 10-year-old Indian girl Shravya Annapareddy.

Originally from Andhra Pradesh, Shravya studies in a primary school in Maryland. The fourth grade girl wondered what she could do to help combat the dreaded Corona virus. With her school scout companions, Lila Khan and Lauren, Shravya made and sent 200 greeting cards along with boxes of cookies to the doctors, nurses and health workers who are caring for Covid-19 patients.

Appreciating the Corona warriors, President Trump said that these warriors strengthen our bond in difficult times. This fellowship will take us to further heights, he added.

The U.S. President honoured Shravya and both her companions — all younger than 10 years, for their little but thoughtful and sweet works.

Volunteers from Call of Duty
Volunteers from Call of Duty

Student warriors

When the nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 24, some friends in Guwahati discussed online its impact on daily wage earners living in the slums. Beginning a WhatsApp group called ‘Call of Duty’, these school and college students discussed what they could do to alleviate people’s sufferings during these difficult days.

They decided to initiate a crowdfunding process to aid needy families. Besides some volunteers, some local residents and shopkeepers, too, stepped in to contribute.

These volunteers raised about 2.5 lakh rupees. And they identified about 150 families in the Gandhi Basti. Four volunteers from the team, with the help of the Assam Police and CRPF personnel, served packets of dry ration to 100 families. While distributing the food packets, they also conscientised the people on personal hygiene, wearing masks and social distancing.

Inspired by their good works, more NGOs, institutions, commercial establishments and general public came forward to contribute. Two tempo drivers also stepped in to pack free of charge, delivering dry ration to orphanages and homes for the elderly.

“Ordinary citizens like you and me can help vulnerable communities build resilience in these hard times,” says one of the volunteers. “We have started with a small initiative of providing basic food items, along with awareness to a small section of the community. But a lot is yet to be done,” adds the youngster.

Bhasha Mukherjee
Bhasha Mukherjee

Miss England becomes doctor

When Miss England heard that Covid-19 was fast spreading in England, she left her modelling work and went to serve patients at Pilgrim Hospital.

Hailing from Kolkata, her family had settled down in England in 2004.

Prior to winning the Miss England title in August 2019, Bhasha Mukherjee was about to join as a junior doctor in that hospital. She had done her graduation in medical science from Nottingham. After winning the Miss England title, she had taken a break from her profession for a year.

Mahita Nagaraj
Mahita Nagaraj

Youngsters bring cheer to the elderly

Bengaluru-based Mahita Nagaraj wanted to help those confined to their residences. She began a Facebook community called Caremongers India. Volunteers began joining the group. It now has around 6,500 members. The initiative has expanded to other cities all across India. The members deliver groceries and medicines to the elderly, bringing cheer to them during these difficult times.

Corona gives him a father

Young Subhojit Bhattacharya read online about a 70-year-old diabetic patient living alone in Noida, asking for assistance. The youth started caring for and serving the elderly man as if he was his father. Subhojit visits S. K. Das every day taking with him milk, medicines, ration and other necessary things. Above all, he spends quality time with him. The youngster says, “My parents live alone in Kolkata. Maybe somebody is looking after them.”

“Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others.”
— Pablo

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F. M. Britto

F. M. Britto

F. M. Britto is currently serving the marginalized people in a remote village in Chhattisgarh with education and development programmes. He is the author of six books including 99 Changemakers and Keys To Success And Happiness published by Better Yourself Books.