Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 30 (ANI/Mediawire): It's been more than a year the world came face to face with the novel Coronavirus, completely changing life as we knew it.
Since then all the schools, colleges and most offices have migrated to the virtual space, the economy is in doldrums, and globally Covid warriors are still toiling to save as many lives as they can.
Morbid stories of death, human helplessness and entire systems collapsing are gushing in from all quarters. But amidst this crushing despair and grief, are also hidden many stories of selfless, kindness and courage that restore our faith in humanity and inspire us to dream of a better tomorrow. Recognising need of the hour, The Times of India wanted to highlight such inspiring narratives in a bid to spread positivity and hope.
Beacons of Hope is an initiative of The Times of India with its recent leg in Mumbai in collaboration with Hope Partner - MIDC, to recognise the efforts of individuals and organizations, who with their selfless acts of kindness are striving for the good of the community in these difficult times.
Girl Drives Covid Dead On Last Journey
Her college lectures having gone online, Priya Patil says she had time on her hands to engage in social work. The avenues for this noble pursuit are plentiful, but who would have thought that the 20-year-old would choose to get behind the wheel of an ambulance and ferry bodies of Covid victims to the crematorium.
A first year science undergraduate at Vivekanand College, Priya has been transporting bodies in a 9am-9pm shift from the government-run CPR Hospital and other private hospitals to the Panchaganga crematorium. Not just that, she helps in placing the bodies in the ambulance at the hospital and also assists the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation staff in preparing the funeral bed at the crematorium.
"I had learnt to drive a car and decided to contribute to society as I had free time after my lectures got over. The ambulance I drive has been donated for Covid service to CPR Hospital by social activist Harshal Surve and garment shop owner Prashant Pophale," she says.
Speaking on the spirit and resilience the people of the State have shown, Honourable Minister For Industries, Govt. of Maharashtra - Subhash Desai said, "The people of Maharashtra have time and again shown their resilience and indomitable spirit. Citizens, Government officials, peoples' representatives and entrepreneurs have all come together to help each other during this pandemic. The incredible stories of courage and initiative only reaffirm our hope in the people of Maharashtra."
Covid Widows See A Ray Of Hope
Recently moved by a TOI report on the plight of two widows who had lost their husbands to Covid-19 and had no means of earning, but many mouths to feed; entrepreneur couple Ronnie and Zarina Screwvala offered to support not only them but 10 more women whom fate had dealt a similar blow.
Dharavi residents Shabana Pathan and Naseema Khatoon were not acquainted with each other but were going through a similar struggle. Pathan was rendered homeless and penniless after her husband, Rafiq, who sold medicinal herbs, died of Covid. Partially lame and unable to travel for work, Pathan worried constantly about the safety of her 11-year-old daughter, Mahenoor, as the two spent the day at homes of acquaintances and nights at dargahs or railway stations. As for Khatoon, the frail 29-year-old is a school dropout and was pregnant with her seventh child when her husband, Sajid, a small entrepreneur, died of Covid. Had it not been for neighbours and NGO volunteers, she and her kids would have starved.
The Screwvalas have picked up costs of accommodation, ration, children's education and basic needs like electricity for 12 widows for six months. Six other donors contributed Rs 20,000. A children's home in Matunga offered to house Mahenoor and offer a job in the kitchen to Pathan. Four citizens from Malad, Ambernath, Navi Mumbai and Ahmednagar offered jobs to the widows. The community joined hands to help the widows stand on their feet so that they could take care of themselves and their families.
CEO, MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) - Dr. P. Anbalagan, IAS - "There has been an overwhelming response from the industries to MIDC's appeal for Covid relief and support during the pandemic. Though we are constantly working on improving our preparedness in face of the challenge, the indomitable spirit shown by the common people in this hour of crisis is exemplary and their stories motivating."
There are many such stories out there that are providing a silver lining to the pandemic and getting people closer at a time when we are socially distanced. Beacons of hope is an initiative to build hope and inducing optimism while recognizing those who are being the light amidst the darkness.
To share more such stories with us or to thank the Beacons of Hope, visit: www.toibeaconsofhope.com Let's light a spark and help dispel the dark.
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