Published: 12th May 2021
These school students are verifying, weeding out offers to help with O2, drugs during their summer vacation
The Uncut Team set up the Uncut COVID database just two weeks ago to provide verified COVID resources for people across India. We find out more
With an acute shortage of oxygen cylinders, available hospital beds, medical supplies, India has been reeling under the deadlier second wave of the Coronavirus. However, what reiterates our belief in humanity is people, citizens showing up, doing their best for others in times of severe distress. Similarly, to help people find resources when their loved ones are affected by the virus, a group of mostly school students from all over the country have curated and compiled a list of COVID-19 related resources including available beds, oxygen cylinders, plasma donors, food services etc on a single platform. Started initially in April 2020, The Uncut Team set up the Uncut COVID database just two weeks ago to provide useful and verified COVID resources that are being constantly updated to people from states across India.
The Uncut Team consists of students between the age group of 14 to 19 years — seven core members from Delhi and Agra and 55 student volunteers from all over India. "Recently, two weeks ago we realised there is an acute shortage of a single database that would cater to the needs of people from every state. We worked continuously for 14 hours on a single day and created a database of COVID resources. The Uncut COVID database has information and resources which is constantly updated by these youngsters. Since then the database has reached over three lakh people, got national recognition and acknowledged by popular people, celebrities, who helped us by amplifying them on social media," says Suhani Daruka, Co-founder of The Uncut Team.
Uncut has a dedicated team that sits and verifies the leads they get before curating them. They ensure it is not fraudulent and the person is actually picking up the calls, then they put it up on the database on the website. "A lot of people are scared and confused and are unable to sit and search for resources, they want someone to give them a number and that number should work. A lot of our volunteers are working to find leads, verify them and then just give them to people. So, we have been doing this for the past two weeks now," she adds.
Suhani, who is a Class 12 student at Delhi Public School, Vasant Kunj adds that she hasn't met most of these people in person as Uncut started during the pandemic. "I only have met the core team as they are my friends, we do a lot of online meetings, we have separate teams handling every state like eight people are handling Delhi. They get on a Zoom call almost every day for an hour and work on collating the resources, verification, what's working if anything's going wrong etc," she shares.
Speaking about how they manage with their studies, she is quick to add, "When we started this we had our summer vacations and then we had our exams cancelled so we wanted to use the time productively."
The Uncut Team was originally started as an online parliamentary debate platform. "The first debate had at least 100 participants from across the country, it was quite successful. Two months later we scaled Uncut for it to be known as a media and news platform with an aim to educate the youth and starting conversations between them on topics ranging from governmental policies to economics, current events and mental health. Our aim was to provide a platform for people to learn and deliberate in form of parliamentary debates, webinars, quizzes, articles, interviews on relevant and trending topics. My co-founder Tia Garg and I have been avid debaters and we didn't find a good parliamentary debating organisation in India, we wanted to bring the platform to more people and not just Delhi. We have plans to register the organisation formally once Tia turns 18 years," explains Suhani speaking about why Uncut was initially started.
The Uncut Team wants to keep the COVID database going and have more volunteers join them with time. "Students from BITS Pilani and a few other institutes reached out to us and we have plans to collaborate with them to create a database application in the near future. Swiggy is also planning to set up a COVID toolkit and they want to use our resources for that. So, that is also in the works right now," concludes Suhani.
You can visit www.theuncutteam.com/
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