I can’t breathe — these haunting words are perhaps muttered every few minutes in isolation wards, homes and ICU beds across the country.
At this grief-ridden time, individuals, private institutions and NGOs have stepped up to care for the COVID-19 patients left gasping for air — delivering oxygen cylinders to those who need it.
We will continue to update this list as more information on other institutions doing the same come to light. As India grapples with curtailing the spread of the coronavirus, we hope that patients get some relief through the good work carried out by these NGOs.
Please note: Kindly call the NGO hotline numbers to ensure the availability of oxygen supply before venturing out.
1. Hemkunt Foundation, Gurgaon, Mumbai: The Gurgaon-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) was launched in 2010 and continues its community welfare work even in the face of the pandemic. Tweets from its community development director, Harteerath Singh, show the organisation’s work continues until the morning’s wee hours at 3 am.
Just an insight- the most crucial (life and death situation) 🆘 calls usually come between 11pm to 3am
From 4am to 8am it’s usually very quite and that’s when we choose to rest
— Harteerath Singh (@HarteerathSingh) April 21, 2021
The organisation distributes oxygen cylinders for free at their Gurgaon office, prioritising patients’ whose oxygen levels are below 80 per cent. They advise people to provide required documents to receive the oxygen supply.
The organisation is also providing free oxygen cylinders to Mumbai at their Versova Gurudwara as well.
In #Mumbai we have opened our second collection centre at Versova Gurudwara , JP Rd
after opening another one in Airoli. Ppl may now collect their free #OxygenCylinder(s) by heading there
We are currently expanding our network through making Gurdwaras are offices#COVID19India
— Hemkunt Foundation (@Hemkunt_Fdn) April 19, 2021
Contact number: 087000 13641
2. Mayapuri Industrial Area, Delhi: Abhishek Gupta, the owner of an oxygen manufacturing plant in Mayapuri Industrial Area of Delhi has opened up its gates to distribute oxygen refills, free of charge.
All one has to do is bring their empty oxygen cylinders to the plant to be refilled for free. The plant has a capacity of 21 tonnes and refills nearly 14 tonnes per day, as per this report.
Abhishek reiterates that he is working with the Delhi government and police to ensure oxygen supply uninterruptedly reaches hospitals on time as well.
Relatives of patients in need of oxygen are requested to make their way to the industrial area to refill their oxygen tanks.
3. Unity and Dignity Foundation, Mumbai: Started by Shahnawaz Shaikh in 2014, his foundation began supplying free oxygen cylinders to the needy during India’s first wave of the COVID-19 wave.
Shahnawaz told NDTV that last year, when cases weren’t so severe, he supplied around 6,000 cylinders from their centre in Malvani. Today, they receive 500 daily calls for oxygen supply. “We are working 24×7 to supply oxygen to the needy free of cost,” he said. They receive an irregular supply of up to 50 cylinders a day from their sources in Bhiwandi.
The 32-year-old had also sold his SUV worth around Rs 22 lakh in 2020 to ensure an uninterrupted supply of oxygen cylinders.
To avail of their services call their ‘war room’ on 9892012132.
4. Sakina Foundation, Hyderabad: This NGO in the city is providing oxygen cylinders of all sizes, including over 40 litres, free of cost. Admitting that the organisation has not been able to meet the surge in demand with over 200 calls being received every day, Mohammed Asif Hussain Sohail says they’re trying their best to cater to as many as they can. Having spent Rs 10 lakhs on the purchase of oxygen cylinders, Sohail says there are only 3,000 oxygen cylinders available for a city that is demanding 10,000.
To contact Sakina Foundation, call Mobile:(+91)988 517 8688, Helpline:(+91) 800 800 8012.
5. Madhya Pradesh: Five friends on a mission to help fulfil the oxygen demand in the state have provided up to 4,000 cylinders to date to cities, including Indore, Ujjain, Barwaha, Kasrawad, Mandsaur, Shajapur and seven other cities. Kamal Juneja tells The Better India that he and his friends had been providing hot meals to affected patients in the first wave and have now resorted to providing oxygen cylinders for free. Rajesh Jain, Amarjeet Saluja, Deepak Baba and Muskan Guru assist him in his mission to reach 12,000 cylinders delivered.
The team gets their oxygen supply from places like Adarsh Oxygen Industry Pvt Ltd.
Contact: 9425900817, 8109490001
6. Seva Aur Sahyog, Ghatkopar, Thane, Navi Mumbai: An organisation set up a decade ago by Aditya Chauhan is a not-for-profit working to bring relief to those affected by COVID-19.
Currently, they have a stock of 100 oxygen cylinders at every one of their centres at Ghatkopar, Thane and Navi Mumbai which they’re delivering.
To contact: 9082597161
7. Kolkata: Hemkunt Foundation has recently started their free oxygen supply to Kolkata as well.
Here’s a list of private institutes that are supplying oxygen cylinders on rent.
KSS Oxygen Services: 9674508854
Aryan Oxygen Services: 9007427926
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)