MUMBAI: Actor Gurmeet Choudhary, who has tweeted that he will open an "ultra-modern 1000 bed hospital in Patna and Lucknow for the common man", says the power of a celebrity is to inspire people to save lives and stay motivated in the time of the crisis. He adds that he is "inspired by Sonu (Sood) bhaiya".
"I think the power of being a celebrity and the popularity that we have, is to utilise for the good of the people under this crisis. Debina (Bonnerjee, his wife and actress) and I, both had a battle with Covid-19 and we recovered because we had access to everything. Right now, people are suffering without even basic facilities like beds, oxygen or plasma treatment. I have been trying to put up beds, arrange for oxygen and plasma for needy people like many of us. I am inspired by Sonu bhaiya," Gurmeeet tells IANS.
The "Ramayan" famed actor says initially in Mumbai, few people reached out to him and asked for help to get beds and oxygen, and he gradually realised the on-ground situation was worsening by the day. That prompted him to form a small team, verify the information of people who are needy and use his access to reach out to doctors for guidance.
Asked about his observation of ground level reality, Gurmeet replies: "Panic attack is one of the things that many people who are sitting at home are facing, and are falling sick due to that. Always remember panic is not going to help, if you are already healthy and sitting at home, stay at home and become a helping hand online. Keep motivating people online and share positivity."
He adds: "There is a section of people who are going through a mental health crisis and depression, and I want to tell them, engage with those who are dealing with Covid-19. Your small yet sensible action of connecting with a needy person will turn out to be a huge help, and you will automatically gain confidence."
According to Gurmeet, at times talking to the family members of the sufferers becomes equally important, too.
"Whenever I get time, my team connects me with some of those family members. I have heard them cry and say that even though they have got a bed and oxygen for the patient, nobody even looks at them or talks to them -- as in how anxious they feel without knowing if their loved one will come back home. This uncertainty that gives them anxiety is heart-wrenching," he says.
"Putting up bed and oxygen is an expensive affair, too. Of course, we are trying to do our best but I think it is also time we get ready for everything, so that at least people do not die on the road without oxygen," adds Gurmeet.
The actor explains why plasma donation is important. "Whatever conversation I have had with doctors and with our limited understanding, plasma therapy and oxygen therapy are the two ways many active Covid-19 cases have been resolved, patients are recovered. Those who recovered can equally save another life by donating plasma. If you do not know how to process it, since Debina and I have donated plasma, people who have recovered from Covid-19 can reach out to us, with name, blood group, and city, and I can connect you with the right person. But please donate plasma because that is saving a life," said the actor.
Gurmeet has circulated his number on his social media for needy persons to contact him.
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