June 7, 2021: Teams of volunteers at AYUDH, the youth wing of Mata Amritanandamayi Ashram, have come together to set up COVID helpdesks across India, to assist people with Covid resources during this critical time of the pandemic. Through helplines, set up by the organisation, many affected people, along the length and breadth of the country, are getting satisfactory answers to their queries and access to resources. The support desk functions from 6 AM to 10 PM and provides COVID related guidelines like vaccine registration, disease prevention and treatment methods.

Apart from the helpline, AYUDH is also conducting online yoga camps. AYUDH Kerala has been organising an online yoga training program on the theme ‘maintaining health by boosting the immune system’. At least a 100 people have attended the Google Meet sessions conducted every day since the lockdown, to try and find some mental and emotional solace during these difficult times.

AYUDH is using its social media outreach effectively to educate as many people as it can. It has brought in doctors from Amrita Hospital, Kochi and other eminent hospitals in the local vicinity to conduct live sessions to educate people about the pandemic. These live and free teleconsultation sessions with doctors are helping people clarify their doubts about COVID, reducing anxiety and giving confidence to those who are either suffering or who have family members who are COVID positive.

A team of AYUDH volunteers is also in place to provide verified online data by collating validated information of suppliers and patients, cutting down wastage and misallocation of resources. This is especially important at a time when the pandemic is leading to the deaths of thousands of people all over the country every day and there has been lots of misinformation, data and cash scams going around with acute shortage of essential supplies such as oxygen and drugs.

Elaborating further on the work done by AYUDH India, Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri, Vice-Chairman of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math said, “AYUDH teams of volunteers are also helping connect donors and patients’ requirements like checking the availability of ventilators, ICU beds, oxygen supply, medicines and blood and plasma and communicating this back to the family/relatives of the patients. When the volunteers get a request for any COVID related help, they work within their local network first and if the situation is not resolved, they send an SOS to the AYUDH India group which consists of Ayudhians from states across India, doctors, professionals from the health field and even government officials. We are thankful to all our young volunteers for their sincere and tireless efforts.”

This all-India initiative has seen AYUDH members from Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, among others, coming together to connect donors and ensure that those who are suffering from the virus can find all the help that they need.

Ayudhians have also pooled their talent to come up with concise advertising formats to disseminate relevant details such as age of patient, items needed, hospital, oxygen availability, availability of hospital beds and availability of ambulances and drivers. They have also designed and posted online eye-catching posters and notices to spread important messages and awareness tips in social media about the precautions that can be taken for preventing COVID-19 and measures to be taken in cases of mild infections. AYUDH volunteers are also providing ambulance and food distribution services in various chapters.

The AYUDH team of volunteers has already earned public trust as a credible source of information and for providing relief due to its swift action during previous crises as well through its regular activities for community service.