Fans of Gurmeet Choudhary got to see a noble side of the actor amid the second wave of Coronavirus in India. Like Sonu Sood, who emerged as a saviour during these hard times, Gurmeet, too, came forward to aid those affected by the pandemic — especially at the time when India has been facing a shortage of Covid-19 relief resources. From arranging oxygen cylinders for the needy to launching a makeshift hospital in Nagpur, the "Ramayan" actor has been actively helping Covid-19 affected patients.
Speaking about his endeavour, Gurmeet said, “Things don't happen overnight...everything takes time to establish. Similarly, a thought of helping people did not occur in my mind all of a sudden. I have always wanted to help people and the second wave of Covid pushed me to pull up my socks and do something for my country. When I came forward to help one person a few months ago, I realised that the situation is quite bad out there. So, gradually, I started the relief work, and formed a team. Initially, finding hospital beds was our goal as there's a huge shortage of beds. Once we get help requests, I along with my team start working towards it. I also personally call doctors, hospital authorities to know the status of the patient, and do whatever is needed to improve the critical situation. We launched a makeshift hospital in Nagpur for Covid patients. I personally went there to know about the on-ground work,” he informed.
For the unversed, Gurmeet and his wife, actor Debina Bonnerjee, had tested Covid positive in September last year. His experience of battling the deadly virus motivated him to launch a free tele-consultation service for people, and has tied up with 19 young doctors across the country.
Elaborating more on the tele-consultation service, he said, “We have also joined hands with several doctors to launch CoviMed, a free tele-consultation service. The aim of this service is to help home isolated patients with mild to moderate symptoms so that they don't panic. After experiencing symptoms, many people get worried. Sometimes, they think it’s just a normal fever and don’t get tested. Through this service, we try to make people aware about everything related to Covid. It’s important to thwart people’s anxieties in such times. I hope we will be able to do this.”
According to Gurmeet, it's his acting profession that helped him in his work related to Covid. “Our profession has a lot of power to do wonders. People follow us...they try to do what we do. So, why not inspire them to do something good for the society. Luckily, I have many contacts, which helped me in my work related to Covid. People also take me seriously due to the celebrity status, making work being processed quicker. Also, when I call patients to make them understand about the situation or ask them what they need, they feel happy to receive my calls. It feels good that I am able to bring a smile to someone's face in such hard times. I also think social media has helped me a lot. It helps me to connect with so many people. Amplification of verified SOS messages on social media platforms has made my work process quite easy,” he added.
However, some cases have made Gurmeet feel helpless despite his continuous efforts. “See, I can't save everyone but it does not mean I will stop putting efforts in helping Covid-19 patients. It is my duty to keep working for my beloved people. However, this pandemic has undoubtedly made me feel helpless several times. I remember doing everything to arrange medical facilities for a particular patient at a hospital. I even spoke to him over video call, assured him that he will be fine, but his body could not take the pain. His demise made me feel so helpless that I can't even express. One of my close friends' father succumbed to Covid a few months ago... I wanted to go and meet my friend and give him my shoulder to lean on, but Covid has also taken away our right to grieve," he added.
Gurmeet won't stop here. He's been working on many ideas on how to extend his help to people in the future. He has also decided to open up an “ultra modern” 1000 bed hospital in Patna and Lucknow for the common man. “I will continue doing all this work even after the pandemic. This is just a start. I want to do so many things for our society. I am also thinking of starting a Foundation. I might join hands with NGOs...it will be a collective effort. I will expand my team so that help reaches to people in the most effective and efficient way. I urge everyone to keep helping others all the time.
“Apart from the health sector, we have been actively looking after education sector as well. The pandemic has taken a toll on students' life. So, we have decided to team up with one of the renowned education platforms in order to start a free of cost batch for aspiring IAS students,” Gurmeet shared.