At a time when people are making money through black marketing and hoarding, Pratapnagar Gurdwara Management Committee and Sikh youths are running a medical helpline where essential equipment such as PPE kits, oximeters, masks, sanitisers, gloves, vapour-steamer machines, etc are being sold at very cheap rates.
“The gurdwara is closed, but good work from the holy place can never cease. Looking at the severity of the second wave, we thought of beginning a medical store where people could avail quality products at reasonable prices. We launched the store on May 19 and so far have sold items worth approximately Rs 7 lakh,” Shammi Singh Arora, the vice-president of the gurdwara management committee, said.
N95 masks, which cost Rs 80 to Rs 100 in the open market, are being sold here for Rs 15. Similarly, PPE kits, which cost between Rs 500 and Rs 1000, are available for Rs 200. A 110ml sanitiser bottle is being sold for Rs 30 instead of Rs 60 in the market.
“Medical shops are charging Rs 2,000 for branded oximeters, but we are providing it for Rs 650. The vapour-steamer machine, which sells for Rs 300 to Rs 500, is available for Rs 180 at our store,” Arora said.
As the news started to spread, more and more people are now coming to the gurdwara to buy these medical items. The store functions from 8am-11 am and 4pm-6 pm. A team of around 15 volunteers are devoting their time for the service of the needy. With the increasing demand for items, Sikh volunteers are busy contacting manufacturers and wholesalers for procurement of goods.
“We are procuring items from manufacturers and companies at Bhilwara, Indore, Ahmedabad and other cities as per the requirement. We are not making any money, only the transportation cost is added to the cost price and so it is a no loss-no profit service for people,” Inderjeet SIngh, another volunteer, said.
The gurdwara committee has also purchased an oxygen concentrator that produces 6 litres of oxygen in a minute. The machine is given free of cost for three days to needy at homes and after that a charge of Rs 1,000/per day is charged for the extended period. Free oxygen cylinders too are being given to patients on being shown hospital slips.