Published: 24th April 2021
How JNU students, faculty and alumni came together to raise Rs 4 lakh to help a researcher fight COVID
Call it luck or the power of social media, in two days they managed to collect Rs 4 lakh, the amount that was required to meet his medical expenses
A few days ago, students and alumni of the Jawaharlal Nehru University had started circulating a certain message over social media. It was a call for help, to raise funds to help Gourab Ghosh, a PhD scholar in JNU who was battling COVID since the beginning of April. Call it luck or the power of social media, in two days they managed to collect Rs 4 lakh, the amount that was required to meet his medical expenses.
Gourab is doing much better now, his former classmate Swati Moitra tells us. But at the same time, she hasn't forgotten the horrors that her dear friend had to go through, after contracting the deadly virus. According to a Facebook Gourab's post, his temperature started rising on April 7 and gave his samples for an RT-PCR test in the morning of April 9. However, he had to wait for 72-hours before he got his results. "He was all alone there in Varanasi," says Swati, who graduated from JNU in 2016. Gourab, who hails from Kolkata had gone to Varanasi to work on a project. "There was nobody there to help him. The best that the staff at the place where he stayed could do was feed him. The hospitals were full and he had no way of getting a bed to admit him. Finally, it was an ambulance driver who helped him find a vacant bed," she says.
The post shared by the students on April 22 says that for more than 10 days, he has been in an ICU. "Gourab has already spent ten days in the ICU and has at least ten more days in an oxygen bed in store. His SpO2 levels are slowly normalising. He is still in need of oxygen support, and his lungs are yet to clear. The doctors are doing their best despite being understaffed and dealing with chaos," it read.
Swati says that apart from the JNU alumni and faculty, a lot of students from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences had also contributed to the cause. "He is also a part of the SFI. That link helped a lot as well," she says, giving her, along with his many other friends and well-wishers a reason to smile in these tough times.