The Covid-19 pandemic has snatched away lives and livelihoods and broken families apart. The extent that people could suffer in the face of the pandemic can perhaps be no better exemplified than by the plight of Naresh Sharma and his family.
Naresh, a resident of Ghaziabad, works with a non-government organisation (NGO) that spreads awareness on tuberculosis. His wife does something similar. She is employed by an organisation that counsels HIV-AIDS patients.
Naresh had a family-run clothing business. However, it had to be sold off in 2016 after demonetisation. This came as a major blow for not only Naresh but also his brother, who was an integral part of the business. Despite the setback, both Naresh and his brother had no option but to move on. While Naresh started working with the NGO, his brother joined a local clothing company as its manager.
The lives of both Naresh and his brother were meandering along, but disaster was lying in wait just around the corner. During the first wave of the pandemic, Naresh’s brother caught the virus. Soon his platelets dropped alarmingly and he was finding it difficult to breathe. The doctors were way off the mark in their diagnoses. They passed it off as typhoid. A few days later, Naresh’s brother was no more. Naresh and his family were stunned and shocked.
Then came another body blow. The family had just about been able to get over one tragedy when another followed. The health of Naresh’s father deteriorated sharply. His father was put on a ventilator with oxygen support. Meanwhile, Naresh’s funds were being stretched thin.
Naresh approached Vishal Gautam, a team member of Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation. We immediately arranged for some money to be transferred so that Naresh’s burden could be alleviated a little. However, his father could not be saved.
Naresh was shattered. His family was devastated. His brother’s family fared no better. Naresh’s brother was the most successful member of the family. Naresh could not bear to look at the distraught faces of his brother’s wife and child. He wanted to save them at all costs. It was a responsibility that his brother had assigned to him before departing. So even with a heavy heart, Naresh moved on. He was overburdened by losses and debt and getting back to work was his only chance.
Naresh’s ordeals left us pained too. We talk to him regularly, offering him a shoulder to cry on. He never ceases to thank our founders for their timely support and doffs his hat to our founders for their stellar samaj sewa (social service) and wants to emulate them.
Our modest help of Rs 50,000 could not bring his father to life, but saved Naresh from another debt.