#Kolkata: “Patient’s condition is deteriorating. Where can I get oxygen?” The Oxygen cylinder is reaching home shortly after posting on Facebook. Or an elderly couple alone at home, both of whom are infected. There is no power and communication to find a hospital bed. In a few hours, their hospital is being arranged. A group of young people are doing everything from being admitted to the hospital by ambulance. Most of them are staff members of SFI or DYFI. However, their identity at the moment – ‘Red Volunteers’ (Red Volunteers). Despite having a political identity, this work is not for politics. That’s what Red Volunteers says. On the one hand, the Red Volunteers have received a response from many people in this activity. Many have also helped with masks, sanitizers and money. However, as people stand by, Red Volunteers are also facing various adversities. There are allegations that they are being attacked in different places and phone numbers are also being spread. Many people are getting help from the Red Volunteers group on Facebook regardless of the political party. And so after multiple allegations of Red Volunteers being attacked after the election, the only question is, will they do the same for the people in the future? Or will this incident have some effect on their work? Not just leftists. This is the question of the common people of the whole state now.
But why this question? How much damage will be done to the people of the state if the Red Volunteers stop working? To understand that, you need to know in detail exactly how these young Turks are working. These Red Volunteers are working at the risk of their own lives. From delivering oxygen to the corona sufferer to buying medicine, or arranging food for the affected household, taking them to the hospital has become much easier for them. They are even sanitizing some areas themselves. And this courage is part of their ideology. Says Dipshita Dhar, the leftist youth leader. In his words, “This courage comes from the ideology. Those who have been doing politics against the Trinamool and BJP since 2011 are looking at how everyone can be better collectively rather than being good to themselves.”
The second wave of corona is pushing the level of infection every day. The number of victims is setting new records every day. As a result, the cry of oxygen and hospital beds continues. The challenge for the Red Volunteers is to continue their activities. Red Volunteers are working on an area basis all over Bengal. So it is difficult to say exactly how many people are involved in this work. No specific center has been set up for this. On social media, the phone numbers of Ward, especially Red Volunteers, have already reached people. Dipsita says, “The whole thing is happening locally. No centers have been set up. Each area is working in the same way as the Red Volunteers were set up during the previous Covid. After the election, we have co-ordinated as assembly centers. There are two areas in Bali. – Belur, the other is Liluya. “
One of the problems in the second wave of corona is the oxygen crisis. Infections begin to pick up, especially in mid-April, with a lack of oxygen and hospital beds. From this time the Red Volunteers started working on the field. Red Volunteers – Although familiar with the name, they started working in Corona from the very beginning. Shubhankar Das, a Red Volunteer from Jadavpur area, said, “There were Red Volunteers even during the first wave. At that time, it was not a matter of providing oxygen and medicine. Delivering masks, arranging meals and making sanitizers, etc.
But since the number of infections in the second wave is much higher, so is the demand for oxygen. In this case, a group of Red Volunteers are working on the field. Another group is working to share the lead on social media and verify the contact numbers of the hospital and Oxygen. “Data is being collected from oxygen suppliers and providers. The job of 5-6 Red Volunteers in each area is to verify the number by calling Oxygen Lid at regular intervals every day to see if they are really delivering oxygen. Out of 50-60 numbers, 18-20 numbers are being verified. ” Not just the supply of oxygen. They are also conducting door-to-door RT-PCR tests. In this case also data has to be collected and verified.
Many people are getting help with this verified number. It becomes clear if you keep an eye on the group of Red Volunteers on social media. Therefore, it is needless to say that if such Red Volunteers stop working, the common people of the state will have to face problems. Titas Bandyopadhyay, a Red Volunteer in Burdwan, says, “Red Volunteers are being attacked in different places. The homes of Red Volunteers in Burdwan are also being threatened. There have been attacks in various ways. But we are determined that we will not stop working. “It was decided at the first meeting that we would be attacked. But we will continue to work for the people. We have decided in the meeting this morning that we will not stop working. Our main goal is to deal with the cowardly situation.”
Titas said political parties are helping people and will continue to do so. But he hopes the administration will take appropriate action and provide security if attacked. In this context, the leftist youth leader said, “There is a lot of filth going on. They are mostly the ruling party. It didn’t happen before the election. It has happened. We have given oxygen to the grassroots. There were no untoward incidents before the election. But after the results the picture is changing. “I’m trying to do the same thing as before, but we still can’t end our lives to serve. So the work has been disrupted in places where this has happened. But we haven’t stopped work altogether. We’re working to resist the attack.” The smoothness of the work has been disrupted in some places. And so we are taking more people wherever we go. We have given the phone numbers responsible for the cyber crime and the results. But the road to work is still friendly. “
Not just Kolkata or the area adjacent to Kolkata. Red volunteers are working to divide the area in each district of the state. North Bengal Red Volunteers also has a separate group on Facebook. Suraj Das, a Red Volunteer from Jalpaiguri, says they are working hard. They will not stop work even if the incidents of infection occur in different areas. Because their main purpose is to help people deal with covid. However, no Red Volunteers have been attacked or harassed in his area, he said.
Red volunteers are also facing some other problems. At the same time, many people are reporting the need for oxygen from multiple places. But they have to come to a conclusion as they do not have that amount of resources at that moment. Dipsita says, “This is often the case. But the advantage of oxygen is to check the condition of the car with an oximeter. So we want to know the level of oxygen from those who want it. We put the lowest saturation first. We’re trying to give it to everyone. But the resources are limited. That’s how we have to do it. “
From the middle of the eight-point election, the second wave of corona began to spread in the state. And since then, people have become more familiar with Red Volunteers. And so the question arises in various quarters, if it had started working before the election, would it have acted as a factor in the ballot box? “We’ve been there before. Maybe we haven’t been as public as a service provider. But we’ve worked on the ground in Amphane, we’ve done so many labor canteens. And we didn’t do it to get votes. It can only increase public relations. Politics is needed to get votes.” “We may not get where we want. But this time the election is based on polarization. People have therefore voted for the grassroots to stop the BJP. So we are not comparing our work with the number of votes.”