Amid a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, a group of young people in Mumbai has been distributing drinking water to all COVID care centres and vaccination centres for free for the past year.
Speaking to ANI, a volunteer Akbar Merchant said, "We are part of the Ismaili Muslim Community which is spread all over the world. We work under the initiative called 'Ismaili Civic' which is a program from the Ismaili community to serve the various communities across India and overseas. This water distribution project is one of the first projects that the Ismaili community has undertaken here in India. We have other projects going on globally as well for different countries and communities." "Coming back to the water project, we started it almost one year ago at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus when we had the migrant crisis going on. Slowly we shifted our focus to various hospitals that cater to COVID-19 patients and vaccination centres. Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) Covid was the first hospital where we started this project on May 20, 2020. So far, all over Mumbai, we are catering to 14 locations and we have supplied close to 1,00,000 litres of clean drinking water. We hope to continue this as long as we get funding," said Merchant.
He further said: "This whole project was self-funded when we started. Now, it's being crowd-funded by many of our well-wishers." Another volunteer Aman said, "As soon as the COVID dedicated centres and hospitals place orders with us, we pass them to our dealers who directly get the orders supplied for us. Since this a philanthropic work, we have not yet faced any problems in the movement of the orders due to COVID restrictions as yet." Maharashtra recorded 66,191 fresh COVID-19 cases and 832 related deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the state health bulletin update on Sunday evening. The state now has 6,98,354 active cases.
With 61,450 discharges, 35,30,060 people have cured of the disease so far in Maharashtra. However, the death toll has mounted to 64,760.