India has reported more than 30 million Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic last year. This year, the second wave of the pandemic has triggered a health care crisis that has shifted from big cities to small towns and rural areas.

The worst affected areas include several villages pan India including in the state of Karnataka. But, as the ill-equipped medical infrastructure in government hospitals leave people struggling to battle the deadly virus on their own; health experts say that combating its spread in rural areas has emerged as the country’s biggest challenge.

Given that 65.5% of India’s entire population is rural, it is of utmost importance that they are given essential health care facilities to cope up during these unprecedented times. As John Holmes once said, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” We at DKMS believe that everyone deserves equal access to health regardless of their social or economic status. With this in mind, DKMS and DKMS-BMST have come forward to do their bit by donating relief materials to Government hospitals and Primary Health Centers in India.

Given the legal implications for non-profit organizations in India, we were faced with several obstacles while facilitating our support. But following the footsteps of Dr. Peter Harf “we did not step back or accepted a NO as an answer!” and we were successful in delivering the promised resources to the needy.

Describing the entire process, DKMS-BMST CEO Patrick Paul says,

“When we decided to take up this initiative, our foremost goal was to provide direct support to the needy. Additionally, we also aimed that the support should be as sustainable as possible and the relief materials especially the medical equipment would continue supporting the medical needs of people even beyond the pandemic. Although we understood that it is a complex process to facilitate such support in India, especially under the given legal conditions. But, I am happy to say that our team was able to overcome all these obstacles and coordinated with the authorities to finally reach our goal!”

With the motive to make the situation a little better DKMS have donated with support of DKMS-BMST various medical equipment like 7 ECG machines for Covid ICUs, 525 Pulse Oximeter, 525 Infra-red thermometers, over 4500 rapid antigen test kits, 500 oxygen masks with the tubes, 10000 buccal swabs, and 12000 VTM buccal swabs to 35 PHCs and government hospitals across Bangalore, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. We also supported Inwasol, a German company to donate 700 litres of surface disinfectants to the government hospitals.

The Government hospitals that benefited from our aid include Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, GMC Aurangabad, Sai Covid Care Center, Kolar.

We are happy that we could directly reach out to people at the grassroots level and provide help where it was needed the most. The fact that our work has been acknowledged via the thank you emails has been a matter of pride to us. One of the CEOs from a consultancy who approached us says, “Mahatma Gandhi once said ‘The soul of India, lives in its villages.’ Sadly, the people in the rural areas are the ones that suffered horribly from the pandemic. Our area for which we requested the help of your esteemed organization is also a rural town called Srinivaspur. It is a great humanitarian gesture on your behalf to agree to help and all the kudos to you and your organization for stepping up during these torrid times.” Such a message shows the depth of gratitude that people have for us, as every little step counts during this extraordinary time!

We will continue to support the hospitals and PHCs within our capacity; and sincerely hope that our contribution will minimize the challenges faced by the rural and underprivileged population in India, to some extent!

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