Mumbai: While people across the country are perforce practising 'social distancing' in the time of corona, like minded souls on Twitter joined hands to help save the life of an eight-year-old.
The child and his parents have come from rural West Bengal for his treatment at the Tata Memorial Hospital. They have been staying at a Bandra NGO, from where they have been commuting to the hospital. As part of the treatment, the child had to be administered an injection intravenously, twice a day.
Not wanting to further endanger the life of the already immuno-compromised child in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak and the ongoing lockdown, the hospital authorities provided the IV injection equipment to the boy's parents and asked them to get the help of a local doctor to do the needful. But local clinics have downed shutters in the lockdown and the child missed out two doses.
Concerned, the NGO which had provided the boy and his parents accommodation got in touch with civic volunteers from the Mumbai North Central District Forum (MNCDF) on Monday, which has been operating its own flying squads to supply groceries and food to senior citizens and stranded labourers in the city.
"The NGO contacted us and we immediately embarked on a social media campaign on Twitter, urging people to get us connected to a doctor who could help administer the injection," said Reshma Doshi, the MNCDF volunteer who was contacted by the NGO. "The child had to intake an IV injection, which needs expert supervision. The parents are not trained to do this, so how could they?" added Rashmi.
Their tweet went viral in a couple of hours and caught the attention of the state environment minister, Aaditya Thackeray, who immediately directed the Shiv Sena's youth wing leader from Bandra, Rahul Kanal, to arrange for a doctor.
Kanal contacted the MNCDF and procured details. At first, he too was unable to get hold of a doctor as most of private clinics were closed and doctors in hospitals, already working under pressure, were in no position to make private calls.
"Hospitals across the city were not allowing children to enter and doctors were reluctant to pay home visits," said Kanal. "However, we managed to find a doctor in Kandivli who agreed to visit the child twice a day, every day and administer the injection," stated Kanal.
Further, Kanal also ensured that until the lockdown is over, and things return to normal, the doctor would continue to visit the child twice regularly and ensure he got his injections. Hearteningly, the child's condition also began to show improvement.
"As soon we were approached by the NGO, we did not waste a second and initiated a Twitter campaign, urging Mumbaikars and doctors to help us," said Trivankumar Karnani, advocate and founder of the MNCDF.