With the second wave of pandemic gripping the entire nation, the already fragile, dilapidated healthcare system lay exposed, bringing to the fore the glaring yet ignored fault lines of the Indian healthcare system to the entire world, with a complete absence of oxygen cylinders, ventilators, beds, medicines to save lives. When the never-ending wails were hounding the hospitals and the designs, shrieks, and cries of the people for saving their lives and the lives of their dear ones, a group of young professionals hailing from Bihar, became boon in the bane who came forward to lend a relentless and undaunted helping hand to their homeland, Bihar, in the fight against COVID through a community-led platform ‘iBihar’ by providing healthcare and other essentials.
They have been instrumental in supporting hospitals in Bihar by installing a cost-effective Box Hospital setup designed by Sustain Labs- Paris & Anant National University with the 200-bed facility at 13 different locations in Bihar, including Aarrah, Kishanganj, Jhajha, Bakhtiyarpur, Nawada, Danapur, Buxar, Mokama, Gaya, Patna, Sonpur, Kiul, and Digha.
Bihar is donating ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine to AIIMS- Patna, which would be the 1st ECMO set up to happen in the state of Bihar at a time when the demand ECMO procedure escalated exponentially, but too much dismay was being offered only at the top corporate hospitals outside Bihar. They have also supported primary healthcare centers (PHCs) in rural Bihar with critical medical resources like BiPAP machines, multipara patient’s monitors, ECG machines, oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, automated external defibrillators (AED), N-95 masks & PPE kits. The team played a pivotal role in strengthening the Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) and Hospitals in Rural Bihar. They have supported six primary healthcare centers (PHCs) in Darbhanga and Kishanganj and other hospitals in rural Bihar under East Central Railways and Govt. of Bihar. The PHCs are now equipped with oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, BiPAP machines, ECG machines, multipara patient’s monitors, nebulizers, oximeters, IR thermometers, PPE kits & N-95.
“In these challenging times, the future without fear will depend on the values of solidarity, resilience, kindness & respect. Because these could be our strength and speed to such adversity”, Anis Bari said.
Anis Bari (An entrepreneur, Author, and a Global Shaper Alumni of World Economic Forum) was all set to join Harvard Kennedy School to pursue Edward S. Mason Mid-Career MPA Program until he realized that the impact of COVID would disrupt everything, including the way of living and the people under the marginalized community would be affected the most. Unfortunately, he lost a few of his relatives and a very close friend from his engineering college to COVID, and it was that time when he decided to defer his session at Harvard Kennedy School to next year to create a community-led platform (Bihar) for delivering relief during the COVID crisis in India. Neha Behani, who is a co-founder of Moojic and an alumnus of Asian Institute of Management-Manila, joined the cause to help Bihar as a means to give back to the roots. Anis reached out to their friends to put forward a collaborative response to the COVID crisis. Many like-minded people came together for this cause, including Shalabh Kumar (An alumnus of Asian Institute of Management & an Investment Banker), Tina Shubhmoorty (An alumnus of Birmingham City University & Head- Yuva Shakti- Bihar), Surabhi Shikha (An alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Lead Communications Strategist for PI India), Khushboo Bari (An alumnus of Graduate Institute- Geneva & Advocate- Supreme Court, India), Sharique Khan (An alumnus of Madras School of Economics), Sudeep Sahay (An alumnus of MERI- Kolkata & 2nd Engineer at Anglo-Eastern) and Rizwan Shaikh (Manager – Population Foundation of India).
When Anis reached out to Ghanshyam Tiwari (Founder – Parliamentarians with Innovators for India) and Dr. Miniya Chatterji (CEO – Sustain Labs-Paris), they instantly agreed to help and contribute to this cause. The team of Crypto Relief supported the overall initiative to reach the unreached. Punit Aggarwal, Mohit Diwan, and Ajay Dhillon were instrumental in extending support to Bihar through Crypto Relief and Fresh Foundation. Mintel Consulting also came forward to support this cause for strengthening the Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) with critical medical instruments in rural Bihar. Shinjika Shukla and her team through COVID Survivor Force India extended support by providing 50 oxygen cylinders directly shipped from Malaysia.
i-Bihar successfully put forward the citizen-centric response to the COVID crisis when the deadly virus was wreaking havoc in Bihar like other parts of the country.