When the massive floods of Kerala in 2018 happened, 48- lives were lost. Due to the shutdown of transport facilities, supply of essentials and medicine to the families that needed them was hit hard. However in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, there is a group of volunteers known as Flood Volunteer’s Family (FVF) who made it a point to offer aid whenever a disaster happens in Kerala.
Two years hence, there is the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic which is making life difficult for all and sundry. The first positive case in Kerala was reported on 30th January and over the course of the next 4 days, this number had risen to 4- all of which were from Kerala.
Keeping in mind the seriousness of COVID-19 across the country, over the next couple of months, a state of lockdown has been imposed across the country, making lives difficult for a lot of people. In this situation FVF swung into action. During this difficult time, they have taken up the duty of delivering medicines to patients who are unable to step out of their homes. Additionally they have extended their services to people who cannot afford to buy medicines and also delivering essentials to localities that have been hard hit by the pandemic. No delivery is too difficult for the FVF who also cover inter-district travel and also deliver goods at the cost of skipping a meal.
Ever since this initiative was started, FVF have successfully delivered medicines to 119 patients and covered over 90 spots in Kerala.
The volunteers from FVF are cognizant of the fact that social distancing needs to be maintained in these trying times. In this time of travel passes, travelling solo and documentation which have become a norm, of the 250+ volunteers in FVF, four have come forward to deliver medicines in Ernakulam, Kollam and Kottayam and also their hometown Alappuzha.
One of the volunteers says, ”Medicines are a part of essential services, but a nationwide lockdown means that their supplies are dwindling. Pharmacies are running out of supplies and most people cannot step out to get them. When we realized this, we took up the responsibility of delivering medicines to these three major districts of Kerala.”
This initiative started in mid-March and the volunteers have put out their phone numbers on social media. Ever since this, calls have begun pouring in. Rahul, Fazal, Arun and Athul make it a point to visit patients and deliver medicines. Another 10 volunteers are on standby in the case of any one of the volunteers needing to be quarantined. It is a serious risk to health but the FVF volunteers are willing to brave this possibility.
On a busy day, these intrepid volunteers manage to cover 10-15 spots at one go. They have breakfast at home and brave the rest of the day on empty stomachs as eateries and stores are closed. This mission is very close to their hearts and no inconvenience is too much for them. In these trying times, such stories warm the cockles of the heart and restore our faith in humanity.
Image source: The Better India