By Aishwarya Paliwal/ India Today
Almora, May 24: Due to the unprecedented rise in Covid cases, Uttarakhand is under strict lockdown. After wreaking havoc in the cities of the hilly state, it is now ravaging through the remote areas.
Braving the raging pandemic, a team of 10 men has made it their mission to help those, who need it the most. Trekking through treacherous roads, the team has been reaching out to remote villages.
The team has travelled 100kms over the past few days to provide relief material and immunity-boosting drinks to those who are finding it difficult to get help on time.
The team carries relief material for the remote villages.
While speaking to India Today TV, Sushil Dimri (25) said: “It doesn’t matter how far we have to travel. Even if we have to travel 18 to 22km, our aim is to reach those people for whom getting basic Covid things is a challenge.”
The team has been following the same routine every day. They wake up, fill vehicles with relief material, and then travel to remote corners.
Crossing the 100km mark, the team has travelled to remote villages to distribute medicines, hand sanitisers, masks and immunity-boosting drinks. Whenever necessary, the team also arranges for vehicles to take villagers to hospitals.
Sushil added, “Our mobile numbers are spread across the city. Many people call us when they find it difficult to reach the hospital. Whenever we get a call, no matter how far the location is, we reach them and provide support. We also make them understand the importance of using sanitisers, mask & maintaining social distancing.”
According to Madhav Prasad Joshi, the leader of the team, “The difference between a village in the plains and the ones in the hills is connectivity. It becomes a little difficult for authorities to reach remote villages and it also becomes difficult for the villagers to get in touch with authorities and doctors. This is why the infection rate in villages is high.”
Superstition, coupled with the notion that villagers in hills have good immunity, was the cocktail because of which Covid cases figures rose exponentially.
Madhav added: “Initially, the villagers were very proud of their immune system. Most of them believed Covid won’t be able to touch them because of which when migrants and relatives came from other states to attend marriages, they were welcomed with open arms, triggering the rise in the number of cases.”
“They got scared only when people started losing their lives”.
The team says the initial surge was because of weddings and natives taking the disease lightly. They, however, believe the mindset has changed.
India Today TV trekked with the team to reach a remote village spread on a mountain. After reaching the village, the team distributed masks, hand sanitiser and immunity-boosting drinks to every family.
The team members also spoke with the villagers, carried out temperature and oxygen-level testing.
Special attention was given to children as there is a surge in the number over the past few days.
Once all the houses in the village were covered, the team then trekked to the next village.