Good Samaritan on scooter comes to rescue patients of COVID, their kin
Santosh Daundkar dons a PPE kit and takes his neighbours to the hospital, gets them admitted and helps their family deal with the trauma
While there have been many instances of people shunning COVID-19 positive people, those needing help in Mumbai Central area have found a saviour in social worker Santosh Daundkar, 45, who lives at the BIT Chawl.
Daundkar, an RTI activist, has been helping neighbours and others affected by COVID-19 not just with logistical support but also moral support ever since the pandemic began. There are police quarters near Daundkar's residence where constable rank policemen reside. As soon as Daundkar comes to know of a neighbour infected with COVID-19, he reaches out to help them by taking them to the hospital. Over 15 policemen have been taken by him to the hospital.
Daundkar reaches infected people's residences, takes them to the hospital on his two-wheeler and gets them admitted. For home quarantined people, he delivers food.
"If someone is found positive, the whole family goes in mental shock. They need support at such times. Because in this situation, it is important to give them courage, which I try to give them," Daundkar said.
"When a patient comes to know he has COVID-19, he gets scared and wants to reach the hospital as soon as possible. With the rising cases, there might not be enough ambulances. So I take them on my two-wheeler," he said.
Rajendra Sangle, a police constable posted in the Economic Offenses Wing of the Mumbai police, is one of Daundkar's neighbours. Daundkar took Sangle to the hospital. "When my test results came, I did not know what to do. Daundkar took me to the hospital and even did all the paperwork. He has done more than my own brother could have done for me. I will not forget his help." Sangle said.
Santosh Daundkar kitted out in a PPE suit, mask and gloves, Daundkar takes the utmost precautions while transporting patients to hospitals on his scooter
Senior citizen Suresh Gawankar, 62, got himself tested at a private lab. While his health deteriorated, no one came forward to help. His only son is 18 years old and does not have a driving license. So the man called Daundkar who took him first to BYL Nair Hospital, then the COVID Care Centre at NSCI Dome and then to Grant Medical College in Charni Road, which too refused to take Gawankar saying they do not have the facility to treat diabetics. Daundkar then approached ward office Prashant Gaikwad of the D Ward who helped get Gawankar admitted there itself.
Another constable, Vinod Rane, who got Daundkar's help, said, "After my results came positive, I called Daundkar who took me to the hospital. Then my wife tested positive. So he took my mother and children to a quarantine centre."
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