In Covid-battered NCR, oxygen langar gives a breather | India News – Times of India

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GHAZIABAD: Hundreds of people have been lining up at a gurdwara in Indirapuram since Thursday night because it has been offering what many hospitals are struggling with Oxygen.
People’s desperate search for oxygen beds, which hospitals pulverised by the pandemic have run out of, prompted the Gurdwara Sahib to start an ‘oxygen langar’. Through a network of other gurdwaras, it has stocked cylinders and is administering oxygen to anyone with respiratory distress.
Just as a langar, it’s open to all. There’s no need for an Aadhaar card or a Covid test report. Gurdwara managers said the langar’s objective was to stabilise people with acute respiratory distress, giving them a breather before they found a hospital bed.
Sandeep Pandita was in despair after driving from one hospital to another with his father, whose oxygen saturation levels had dipped to 55. He was directed to the gurdwara by a text message he received from an acquaintance.
“The message said the gurdwara was giving free oxygen. It was too good to be true,” Pandita told TOI on Friday. He was skeptical but his father’s condition made him drive down to the house of worship in hope. “To my surprise, I found many people there. Patients were being administered oxygen in cars and on benches,” said Pandita.
Pandita said he informed a man in a turban he spotted near the entrance — who turned out to be the president of the gurdwara, Gurpreet Singh — about his father’s condition. Soon, Singh’s associates lugged a cylinder up to the car. “They placed the cylinder next to the car. We stayed there for four hours and left when my father felt better,” said Pandita, who got a little more time to look for a hospital where he could admit his father.
Singh told TOI the gurdwara had tied up with some others in west UP to get the oxygen cylinders. “It is everyone’s duty to rise to the occasion and help people who are in so much distress. Just complaining and feeling helpless is not the way. With the help of Khalsa Help International, we got in touch with gurdwaras in Muzaffarnagar and Meerut, which helped us with the oxygen cylinders,” he said.
“We started administering oxygen from 11.30pm on Thursday and till 5pm on Friday, over 200 people had availed the service. Since we do not have infrastructure like beds, etc, we got people to take oxygen right in their vehicles and on benches placed near the road. We assured them that till the condition of the patient stabilizes, we will continue to provide oxygen,” added Singh.
With the healthcare system in disarray because of the numbers the pandemic has been throwing up, the gurdwara managers are flooded with phone calls for help. “Ever since I shared the phone numbers on social networking sites, the calls haven’t stopped,” said Singh, adding calls had been coming from people abroad, including Canada, to enquire about oxygen for their ailing family members in Delhi-NCR. “We are trying our best to help as many people as we can,” said Singh.
The Gurdwara Sahib has sufficient oxygen as of now. “I requested the administration to make available at least 50 cylinders to us, which will be in addition to the cylinders we can lay our hands on and we will keep on serving people,” said Singh.
Gautam Arora, an attendant of a patient broke down while thanking the gurdwara managers. “They have shown what is possible to achieve when there is intent. I have no words to thank them and hundreds of people like me are thanking them profusely,” said Arora.
The oxygen langar is operational all day if availability of cylinders doesn’t choke the service.

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