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DESPITE THE DANGERS, A 29-YEAR-OLD SOUMITRA CYCLES ACROSS THE SUNDARBANS TO DELIVER OXYGEN

by admin

Read Time: 3 minute


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Soumitra Mandal, a 29-year-old Sundarbans native, has been a hero to many in the remote islands of Gosaba block in West Bengal.
  • He has been dubbed the "Oxygen Man of the Sundarbans" for his role in providing healthcare and oxygen to nine islands during the COVID-19 .
  • Soumitra, despite being diabetic, went out to aid people even during the first and second waves.

Meet Soumitra Mandal the "Oxygen Man of the Sundarbans":

 Soumitra Mandal of West Bengal has been dubbed the "Oxygen Man of the Sundarbans" for his role in providing healthcare and oxygen to nine islands during the COVID-19 outbreak. COVID-19 has shown many amazing heroes as a silver lining amid the darkest skies. These humanitarians have made a difference in society by assisting others in need, even at the risk of their own lives.

Soumitra Mandal, a 29-year-old Sundarbans native, has been a hero to many in the remote islands of Gosaba block in West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district. He's been a one-man army since the COVID epidemic in 2020, riding his bicycle from village to hamlet, distributing medicines and oxygen concentrators.

Know his story in his own words

"When the epidemic broke, I realized the need of being on the ground. In the Gosaba block, there is only one hospital serving all nine islands, and emergency services are difficult to come by. I witnessed how hard it was for our folks to seek medical help in a timely manner. As a result, I began coordinating oxygen concentrators, cylinders, and medicines with NGOs in order to assist people in need."

He claims that he has received oxygen concentrators, cylinders, and medicines from a number of NGOs and social welfare organizations. "Organizations like Mukti and Kishalay Foundation donated two oxygen concentrators to me. A few oxygen cylinders were given to me by some social workers. Because cylinders are hefty, they are difficult to transport on my bicycle. "Every day, I ride vast miles and it takes me more than an hour to cross the islands and reach rural communities," Soumitra explains.

The struggle was real

Soumitra, despite being diabetic, went out to aid people even during the first and second waves, putting his own health at risk. He also claims to supply drugs to people after assessing their health. "I always consult the doctor over the phone before dispensing drugs to the patients," he adds. I solely follow the doctor's orders."

Receiving assistance from NGOs

He claims that, in addition to receiving assistance from NGOs, the local government has been supportive of his plan. "The Gosaba block officials have been assisting me with my work and have even provided financial aid to make my cross-island trip free of charge," he claims.

Soumitra, who was diagnosed with COVID in June 2021, took time off work to rehabilitate. "Being a diabetic, it was risky to obtain COVID," he explains. It couldn't stop me, though, and as soon as I felt better, I went back to work. 'Life hasn't always been easy.' Sundarb's oxygen guy is Soumitra Mandal.

Soumitra had to leave his house as a child because he came from an impoverished family. He grew up in the homes of his relatives, who helped him pay for his studies. "It's never been easy in my life." But I'm glad I was able to complete my education," adds Soumitra, who holds a bachelor's degree in geography with honours and a master's degree in education.

Also Read: JEETEJIRAKTDAAN, MARNE KEBAADANGADAAN: INDIA NOW RANKS 3RD IN ORGAN TRANSPLANTATION

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