An “oxygen langar” has been set up at a gurdwara in Ghaziabad’s Indirapuram that can be availed free of cost by Covid-19 patients who need it. Set up by non-profit Khalsa Help International in the gurdwara premises, the service runs 24×7 and can cater to about 80 people at a time.
Gurpreet Singh Rummy (42), founder of the non-profit and president of the gurdwara committee, said they are not offering oxygen cylinder refilling or take-away at present, and patients will need to come to the gurdwara to avail the service.
“We started providing this service about eight days ago to help patients who need oxygen and are not able to find it anywhere. We have set up a tent in a 500-metre area in the gurdwara premises for patients and have a pipeline connecting to two-three large oxygen cylinders,” he said.
About 25 beds have been set up where patients can rest and stabilise their oxygen levels. For those who are not able to enter the premises, volunteers carry oxygen cylinders to their cars.
“When a patient comes in, we check their oxygen level through an oximeter and immediately get them set up on a bed. We have people coming in from as far as Kanpur and Ludhiana here,” he said.
The NGO is getting their oxygen supply from places in Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, with volunteers travelling there to collect the canisters, said Rummy. He added that about 150 volunteers are providing support at the langar.
Their capacity would be enhanced in the coming days to cater to about 100 patients at a time, said Rummy. Over the last eight days, about 4,000 people have come to the langar to get oxygen, he added.
“People can stay here as long as they like until their oxygen level is stable and they are fit to travel to find a hospital bed. If after leaving from here their oxygen level dips again, they can return and we will help them,” said Rummy.
He added that most volunteers are working long hours with little sleep at the gurdwara. “Many of my family members have tested positive, including my sons, but I am still here 24×7 because I want to help people and will continue to do it,” said Rummy.