Event Industry’s Covid-SOS Service Addressing 1000 Critical Queries Daily With 50-60% Success Ratio
From wedding planners to experiential marketing experts, from emcees to logistics suppliers, the event industry has come together as one in this crisis.
This unprecedented crisis brought about by the second Covid -19 wave has left us in a crisis where we all seem to be on our own, with public healthcare services under huge strain. In this situation where people are dying every minute, no one can have the heart to be a bystander.
If we look at the event industry, it is putting together all its resources to help the needy in this time of crisis. From wedding planners to experiential marketing experts, from emcees to logistics suppliers, the event industry has come together as one in this crisis.
They are all running various voluntary groups that have almost round the clock help lines with information on— places to refill oxygen, availability of hospital beds, critical care medicine and even getting food home delivered. Dealing with this crisis has become a collective mission, a collective cause that has the welfare of everyone affected at its core.
Take the case of Vipul Pandhi, MD, Workaholics who is busy everyday sending live updates about availability of oxygen in Delhi and NCR. To ensure all leads are verified, he personally visits the places before sharing information in various SOS groups and on his social handles.
Aarti Mattoo, Managing Director of Momentum Events is at times awake post midnight to share urgent requirements in a SOS group started by Ruchin Kohli, Director of Occasion Experts. The group has quick response teams headed by-- Prerana Saxena, Martin Emmanuel, Mandeep Malhotra, Vinod Janardhan, Atul Chabra, Nitin Arora, Sharad Mathur, Poonam Lal, Rajeev Jain, Nitin Arora, KJ Singh, Deepak Pawar, Rahul Gomes, Siddhesh K, Vijay Bokadia, Sachin Talwar, Sunil Kutty.
It must be mentioned that team EEMA started this group with just 3-4 people some 12 days back with the intention to source urgent hospitalization for immediate members. Now it has become a team of 40 plus members who along with ground staff address real time requirements. The group has made best use of riders from food delivery services who are unemployed and engage them to give real on-ground availability of Oxygen in Delhi.
“As event managers, we know how to handle most situations and this one is unprecedented. At a time like this we are there for our nation. We are working on plasma drive, building a care centre/hospital, our regional heads have rolled out helplines with focused help for all things: oxygen, beds, doctors, food, plasma etc. The outreach to Delhi Government has been a shot in the arm as they have asked us to work with them on multiple initiatives. There are so many members working day and night that I can only honour them all post this pandemic but I have never felt prouder of being part of this industry,” explains Roshan Abbas, President EEMA and MD, VMLYR Encompass.
Abbas adds, “The efforts of Amit Gupta who started the task force and leads it, Ruchin Kohli a man working day and night, Prerana Saxena, Aarti Mattoo, Martin Emmanuel, Vipul Pandhi (who has people manning various parts of Delhi to check on oxygen and other supplies); Mandeep Malhotra who initiated the Apollo tie up and is handling hospitals are indeed laudable. Vinod Janardhan has supported us with his creative team, The hospital team has Atul Chhabra, Nitin Arora, Sharad Mathur, Poonam Lal. With the Delhi Govt, Rajeev Jain and Vijay Arora have done a great job and we are thankful to them. The WeCare helpline is doing a wonderful job with Poonam Lal being at the forefront. KJ Singh and Deepak Pawar from NEC are supporting all regions. Rahul Gomes, Siddhesh K, Vijay Bokadia, Sachin Talwar, Sunil Kutty. We have regional helplines with a much larger team. But this is such a wonderful team effort.”
In another SOS group renowned emcees, Gitikka Ganju Dhar, Shivaani Sen, Sonam C Chhabra and Bhavana Bhatia are using their social influence to help the needy. Speaking more about the situation on ground, Bhavana informs, “The situation in India is very grim and when the healthcare system in India is under immense pressure - the community is joining hands to help in the best way. Flooded with SOS messages and calls, my endeavour has been to ensure that the person somehow gets what they are looking out for. Sometimes we have been successful, sometimes we haven’t but everyday the attempt has been to search and then connect. It is a matter of life and death and while India faces a very tough situation. I would really request anyone who is eligible for plasma donation to please go ahead and donate. Let’s do our bit, cause with that one connect, tweet, share - a person’s life could be saved.”
There is also a group formed by APJ College Event Management students who are curating databases of verified numbers to help the ones who are seeking medical resources.
“As the scenario is very bad especially in Delhi NCR followed by Mumbai and other regions like Rajasthan, Punjab and Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore, we have active teams with respective helplines being segregated as per the respective region. We are handling more than 600 to 650 queries every day and the numbers are just increasing with 50-60% success ratio i.e. resolving the queries. These numbers are beyond our official helpline which is We Care where we are getting a lot of other calls related to mental health, plasma, food delivery etc. We are working in all possible areas round the clock like hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and concentrators, medicines, ambulances and with deep sorrow now cremation grounds as well,” says Ruchin Kohli, Joint - Sec, North, EEMA.
Other than this, the SOS group launched by EEMA has also introduced a helpline service to recycle cylinders which are not in use any more by the patients who have recovered and can be used by people who are in need.
“We are already speaking to some of the best doctors under the leadership of Dr. Kole (President- Asian Society of Emergency Medicine) who is volunteering to set-up a treatment facility to meet the increasing demands of oxygen beds and later scaling up to critical units as well. There is much more going at regional level as well. It's tough times for all of us and it's not at all easy especially for the people who are addressing these queries as they hear all kinds of distressed calls during the day. We are trying our best that we continue to do this and help the bigger community”, adds Kohli.
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