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Worse Than a War Zone: Covid-19 Batters India’s Mumbai City

    Worse than war zone - Mumbai

    We, as humans have fought many wars with arms and ammunitions. But, never have we been face-to-face with an invisible enemy. And right now, the world is at war with the COVID-19 virus. The invisible being has not only sent shivers down the spine, but brought the world to a standstill.

    War Against COVID 19

    A decade later or two when we look back at one of the most challenging times faced by humans, our fight against the COVID-19 is sure to stand out. We will see it as a time when a virus brought the greatest economies, the biggest industries to a grinding halt. We will remember the deaths and our prayers. And, not to forget, how we did our bit when the time came for us to be united.

    Today, we ensure that we don’t step out without our masks. We wash our hands frequently. We sanitise common areas. We self-quarantine immediately on experiencing symptoms. We run campaigns and we donate to the COVID cause.

    Not all of us can be doctors or the police. We can’t fight on the frontlines like our ‘real heroes.’ But, we can do is enable them to fight the good fight.

    When someone like you and me realise that our health workers need personal protective equipment, we rally our forces. We start a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to buy these expensive but necessary safety kits (knowing the evident lack of support to the real warriors). We reach out to potential donors on WhatsApp, social media, email, and even have celebrities share the crowdfunding links to raise as much as our health workers need, in a short span of time. You and I, together, ensure that the healthcare workers working tirelessly, can do their duty without the fear of being infected. Together, we win against the COVID.

    With no jobs but their hunger still intact, daily wage earners have been hard hit by the lockdown. A crowdfunding campaign with a hundred donors can probably ensure that thousands of migrant labourers and their families don’t go to bed hungry. Many kind hearts coming together and chipping in whatever they can translates into migrant workers being able to buy bus tickets and travel back home. A little monetary contribution from you saves them from many more days of uncertainty and despair. Together, we don’t let the COVID break us.

    Small business owners who normally thrive due to their everyday customers, have been struggling to make ends meet. Chances are, continued social distancing norms will still affect them. The lack of business threatens to render all their hard work meaningless at a time when they absolutely need that financial stability. Thankfully, the community steps in. A crowdfunding campaign started by the small business owner or one of his compassionate customers ensures that enough money is raised to cover the rent and other operational costs so that the business can survive. Together, we save the dreams of the small business owner from being crushed by the COVID.

    Social distancing in a densely populated country like India means educational institutes will not open anytime soon. With online learning seemingly becoming the new norm, students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds may not have the necessary resources to pursue an education. Together, we ensure that education and learning doesn’t stop despite the COVID-19 situation.

    Our healthcare system is burdened. COVID patients require a bed and isolation, at the same time as a cancer patient requires urgent treatment. A crowdfunding campaign started by the patient or their loved one can ensure that the patient with cancer finds the much-needed treatment at a costlier private hospital. Together, we ensure that COVID doesn’t take more lives than it already is.

    For the many non-profits working on a plethora of issues such as economic empowerment, education, health, financial inclusion, animal welfare, environment and many more, the pandemic has put their on-ground fundraising on hold. Operations have stopped. A crowdfunding campaign ensures that this is just a pause and not a full-stop. A trustee, employee, beneficiary, or practically anyone with a thoughtful mind, starts a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the non-profit. We all contribute. Together, we see that the good work of these non-profits continues.

    In our war against the COVID, we all will pitch in.

    When we look back ten years from now, we will remember our solidarity.

    Sushant Peshkar
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