Published: 15th June 2021
If we join hands, we can genuinely fight anything: Bhumi Pednekar on TNIE's COVID Think Tank
In a conversation with Author and Senior Journalist Kaveree Bamzai, as part of The New Indian Express' COVID Think Tank, she recalled these events
"This is probably the largest amount of tragedy that I've seen firsthand," Bhumi Pednekar recalls the scary initial months of the second wave of the pandemic. The entire country was in turmoil, with people looking at every possible direction for resources to help COVID-struck people. That time, was however a turning point in the actor's life. With her own group of COVID volunteers, she has reached out to hundreds of people, helping them with the resources that they required during the pandemic. In a conversation with Author and Senior Journalist Kaveree Bamzai, as part of The New Indian Express' COVID Think Tank, she recalled these events. The pre-recorded session was aired on June 14.
A few months ago, the 31-year-old and her mother, were both down with COVID. "It wasn't pleasant. My mother had to be hospitalised for a few days," she said. "That's when I realised that it wasn't very easy. As a family member, you do not have access to the patient. You are unaware of what needs to be done. I had no idea how to arrange drugs and plasma. So, I put out a message on a few Whatsapp groups because that was the advice that I got from the hospital," she says. In a couple of hours, Bhumi was flooded with donors.
"That was when I realised that I could use my reach to help people. But I was very unwell when all of this happened" she said. Soon after that, the second wave hit and everyone's social media timelines were flooded with requests from people seeking life-saving drugs, hospital beds and oxygen cylinders. Bhumi knew that this was her chance to give it back to society. So, she formed a WhatsApp group to attend to these requests. "On the first day we formed that group, it was me and two more people. But in an hour, we had 70 people. The volunteers told me that they realised that they can't utilise their time better than this," she said. Today, they have volunteers across the globe. "We do everything from arranging ICU beds, ventilators, plasma and even milk for babies," she said.
Now, with her newfound experience, confidence and motivation, Bhumi says that she has a new purpose in life. "If we join hands, we can genuinely fight anything. Right now, there is a network of people to service mankind. It is motivating me and making me feel more secure as a person. I can't thank the internet enough," she said.
Reminding us about the importance of compassion, the Dum Laga Ke Haisha actor says that she has no respect for people who do not show any. "You can donate your money or time. But you have to do something at today's time," she said. Signing off, she reminds people of living in an environmentally conscious way, asks them to be not scared of the vaccines and not to self medicate. "Individually everyone has to take responsibility to avoid the third wave. Also, we must make sure that people know that vaccine is not the enemy," she said.