Relief work Society

COVID-19: Helping Humans Hyderabad steps up to ease the crisis

Volunteers distributing food   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

When Hyderabad-based Mohd. Abdul Yousuf, a fourth-year student of Symbiosis Law School in Hyderabad and his friends wanted to feed the needy hit by COVID-19, they could not afford to hire a chef at ₹1,200 per day to prepare a meal with 25 kilograms of rice. Undeterred, the boys watched cookery channels to learn to prepare it themselves. Now, the team of volunteers of Helping Humans Hyderabad founded by Abdul, packs 400 dinner boxes and distributes them at Tadbun, Charminar, Government Maternity Hospital in Afzal Gunj, Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station, Osmania General Hospital, Hyderabad Railway Station at Nampally, Public Gardens, MNJ̥ Cancer Hospital and Niloufer Hospital. “We make kaju, lemon and jeera rice and even made chicken biriyani sponsored by a friend,” says Abdul.

Mohd. Abdul Yousuf

Mohd. Abdul Yousuf   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Helping Humans Hyderabad is among several voluntary organisations helmed by youngsters to verify leads, identify and share information on hospital resources and medical supplies to help tackle the second wave of the pandemic. However, Abdul’s organisation reached out beyond Hyderabad to Bengaluru, Gujarat, Delhi, Patna and Kerala as he networked from his contacts across India.

It started when Abdul posted a friend’s plasma request on his Instagram account. Buoyed by the response and backed by his associates: Lamya Hussaini, Molshree Totla and Ismail Zabiullah, he launched Helping Humans on April 16, his birthday, to amplify appeals for help. “We launched the page at 9 pm and at 1.30 am, we got a request for an oxygen cylinder,” he recalls.

Abdul and four core members of Helping Humans pooled ₹20,000 from their pockets to steer the network. With friends across India, he created a network of individuals to provide info from their cities; volunteers then verified the leads and updated the information on a Google spreadsheet. ‘If you are sitting idle at home, give your time to us,’ was their message on social media, inviting volunteers to be part of the initiative which had more than 200 members from across India. The office of Kavitha Kalvakuntla responded to their tweets for hospital resources; which not only helped in closing the requests, but also airlifting a passenger from Bihar to Hyderabad.

“Oxygen shortage was a major one during those dreadful two months,” shares Abdul, adding that his phone has not stopped ringing since April. Most of the 400 to 500 calls used to be for oxygen cylinders. The team purchased these cylinders for ₹60,000 from their own pockets. “Now the calls for cylinders have reduced to 50; and enquiries now are for oxygen concentrators.”

Abdul hopes to find more sponsors for their free food distribution programme. “We are glad we were able to make at least a small difference,” he concludes.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 4:48:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/mohd-abdul-yousuf-on-how-helping-humans-hyderabad-steps-up-to-ease-the-covid-19-crisis/article34849656.ece

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