Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

‘This is our opportunit­y to come together in this war against Covid’

- Monika Rawal Kukreja

Known to always lend a helping hand to those in need, one couldn’t expect Yuvraj Singh to not step up during a global crisis. As the country reels under the second wave of the pandemic, Singh’s foundation, Youwecan, recently launched #Mission100­0beds — a hospital capacity expansion solution to rapidly scale up Covid-19 critical care facilities across India.

On how the idea for the initiative came about, the former Indian cricketer tells us, “Many of us have lost loved ones [amid the pandemic] and witnessed countless cases of people struggling for oxygen, ICU beds and other critical care facilities... I’ve been impacted by this, too, and felt that we all need to support our healthcare providers, and the central and state government­s, which are working tirelessly.”

Singh shares that, last year, his foundation “mobilised resources for providing over one million hygiene kits to affected states, besides running multiple Covid-19 awareness campaigns”. Explaining how #Mission100­0beds will ensure a stronger healthcare system, he says, “We aim to strengthen the capacity of government, Army, autonomous and charitable hospitals by setting up oxygenated beds, ventilator­s and BIPAP machines, and other essential medical equipment. These will not only enhance the current capacity of hospitals, but will continue to serve patients for 10 years and beyond,” he states, adding that they “envision to enhance healthcare infrastruc­ture in other spheres in near future”.

It has been just over a week since the initiative’s launch and Singh is glad it has turned out to be a “successful” one. “We had started with a target of 1,000 beds, but we’ve already got requests for over 2,000 beds from hospitals across India. This is our opportunit­y to come together in this war against Covid. I urge others to join the initiative,” he says.

Meanwhile, asked how the past year has been for him, he admits it was “a bit challengin­g” to get used to the new normal. He says “a solution driven ecosystem” is his coping mechanism, and adds, “The best way to cope with anything orbits around finding the solution.”

This period also gave Singh time to reflect. “It makes you see things from the lens of gratefulne­ss for the friends and family around you... Staying strong and being kind is the need of the hour,” he muses.

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