Education society takes up relief works for COVID-19 patients

NGOs across the country are doing their bit to help people face the epidemic in various ways. And, Bidar-based Allama Iqbal Education Society is one of them, taking up certain relief works.

The society that runs schools and colleges under the banner of Shaheen Group of Institutions, has set up a COVID-19 helpline and call centre.

The group has opened two free COVID Care Centres that has 400 beds for non-symptomatic cases and patients with mild and moderate symptoms. It is providing free food to COVID-19-affected families, apart from running two ambulances and hearse vans in Bidar and surrounding areas.

“During the first wave, we converted our colleges into COVID Care Centres. Then, we diversified our relief activities in phases,’’ Abdul Quadeer, secretary of the society, told The Hindu.

The portal, bidarcovidhelpline.com, is attached to the call centre. It includes information on services such as online doctor consultation, ambulance service, information about bed availability, oxygen supply, food and registration for vaccination. Food and oxygen concentrators can be ordered on the website.

The number of doctors attached to Shaheen Hospital has been increased to provide treatment and consultation. NRI doctors who are alumni of the Shaheen Group of Institutions have been roped in to provide online consultation.

As many as 1,700 families of COVID-19 patients are being provided free food daily. “During the first wave, we were providing food from our college hostel. Then, we realised that we needed a bigger facility and put up a larger, modern kitchen,’’ says Mr. Quadeer.

The Shaheen kitchen produces large quantities of breakfast items, including Idli Vada, bread and a meal pack that contains rice, roti, dal and curds. Apart from door delivery, the food packets are also sold through take-away windows in the city.

“We are also providing door delivery of foodgrains to staff and students who are in need. This is a non-profit venture and operates as a call centre,’’ he said.

Importantly, there have been no lay-offs in the institution. “In fact, we have recruited several persons to run the COVID-19 helpline and other activities. We have used the lockdown period for completing civil works, including construction of new buildings and repairs to existing structures,’’ Mr. Quadeer said.

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