Amid a raging pandemic, Kolkata-based The Bengal with Prabha Khaitan Foundation mount extensive effort to aid the distressed

NITN | @notintownlive | 22 May 2021, 05:29 am

Amid a raging pandemic, Kolkata-based The Bengal with Prabha Khaitan Foundation mount extensive effort to aid the distressed The Bengal / PKF

Kolkata: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." As India reels under the devastating second wave of Covid19, these famous Dickensian words come true like never before. Amid the raging pandemic, community organisations rise to the occasion like a shimmering ray of hope for people.

The Bengal, a Kolkata based community organization comprising eminent personalities and leaders from various walks of life in West Bengal, is an example of one such initiative as donations and distribution of aid pour in for the distressed through their initiatives.

The Bengal has joined hands with “Rahat” initiative of Prabha Khaitan Foundation (PKF), which has always been on the forefront of social work-  be it sending relief to  the affected people post Amphan, or distributing blankets to the underprivileged or other humanitarian activities.

Now under this initiative The Bengal has created a donation campaign wherein they are urging masses to contribute aid to alleviate the current situation.

They are accepting donations in kind ranging from  medicines, oximeters, oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, hospital beds and anything that can bring some relief to the ongoing crisis.

The Bengal is essentially creating a bank of Covid relief aid, acting as a facilitator between donors and Covid relief agencies, thereby accelerating relief measures and providing solace and succor to those affected.

Introducing novelty, The Bengal is converting payments made in cash to services provided in kind.

Even if someone wishes to contribute  cash, The Bengal will immediately connect them to the vendors for purchasing Covid - relief essentials as per requirement and hand over the receipt to the donor, thereby ensuring outright and absolute transparency in the system.

87Ward Safe home - Jishu Sengupta & Debashish Kumar - Supported by The Bengal

They have already supplied oxygen concentrators, oximeters, medicines, hospital beds and so on to many NGOs / Safe Homes like Prayas Foundation. IHA, O2Ku Shawbar, Artists' Forum, Calcutta Foundation, 87 ward Safe home.

Well-known personalities like Esha Dutta, Nilanjanaa Senguptaa and Swarup Dutta  from The Bengal are jointly supervising the project.

Esha Dutta said: “With our frontline workers being stretched in their respective services, The Bengal has come forward to assist the groups and individuals who are working on the ground. With its extensive network and varied resources at its disposal, The Bengal endeavours to reach out to all in distress."

Nilanjanaa Sengupta said: "We are reaching out to NGOs and people to help them in this crisis. Every bit of  help counts.”

Manisha Rampuria,  who is one of the donors, has extended her full support to make this initiative a success by donating anything and everything for the needy.

“I am distressed by what I was see all around, I felt it is time to step forward and do my bit. Each of us should join in this movement and try to help those that are in so much despair. Every little help matters .. so let’s do our bit for the sake of humanity,” she said.

Manisha Rampuria is one of the donors

Filmmaker and The Bengal Working President Goutam Ghose said: “When we go back in history, especially during the Bengal plague, Sister Nivedita, Rabindranath Tagore and many others came out to help and support people in distress. The second wave is terrible for all of us, but a lot of people are desperately trying to help others in need."

According to Sundeep Bhutoria, Honorary Secretary of The Bengal, people are running from pillar to post to meet their most basic amenities of survival.

"The acute shortage of oxygen cylinders and hospital beds has raised further alarm along with the steep increase in positive cases everyday. At a time when humanitarian support is needed the most, The Bengal intends to be of optimal use in giving a tough fight to Covid-19," he said.

"We are raising donations in kind that are to be distributed to those affected by the virus from the economically weaker section of the society, who have limited means and access to necessary aid, thereby aiding their speedy recovery”, said Bhutoria.

The Bengal members consist of industrialist H M Bangur, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Arindam Sil, Anandi Ghose, Jogen Chowdhury, Agnimitra Paul, Bickram Ghosh, Dona Ganguly, Nayantara Palchoudhuri,  Sundeep Bhutoria, Goutam Ghose, June Maliah, K Jaweed Yusuf, Dr Mansoor Alam, Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay and  Usha Uthup.

Safe home at Govt Polytechnic College in Basirhat - Supported by The Bengal

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