Kashmiryat at display: Pandit-Muslim duo save lives across NCR

A well-known Kashmiri Pandit chef and an aspiring Kashmiri Muslim journalist are saving thousands of lives by arranging plasma for Covid affected patients across the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).

Days after the country was hit by a severe second wave of the coronavirus, a social service initiative, “Plasma NCR”, was started to help people get plasma for their near and dear ones.

The initiative is spearheaded by Sanjay Raina, a Kashmiri Pandit Chef from Srinagar who is based in Delhi, and Adnan Shah, a Kashmiri Muslim who hails from Kupwara and studies journalism in Delhi.

Managing the whole show on Twitter (@PlasmaNCR), the duo told IANS that one of the reasons to start the initiative was that “when the second wave hit the country and people came out to seek help, it was more about Oxygen, beds and ventilators, and less about Plasma. Although people needed plasma but it wasn’t quite visible on social media, so we started this helpline to facilitate Plasma requests”.

Ever since it came into being, Plasma NCR has clocked more than 1,500 cases, receiving at least 150 requests for plasma in a single day. Raina said: “We have closed nearly 1,600 cases so far, however, 500-600 of our donors didn’t have enough antibodies to actually donate the plasma. Otherwise, we could have closed nearly 2,100 cases.”

Talking to IANS, Adnan said: “My parents were expecting me to be home on Eid and had booked my air tickets, but when they came to know about what we were doing, they told me not to come, and serve and help as many people as I can.”

Both Sanjay and Adnan are managing nearly 150 donors a day and not a single request goes unattended. The duo provide plasma directly to the families of Covid-affected patients and not to hospital officials.

In a message to the people of the country, the duo said: “This is the time to come forward and help as many people as you can. If you can, tell us and donate plasma, we will arrange the transport for you, which we are currently doing for so many of our generous and kind donors.”