Hyderabad:When techie Santhana Selvan received an SOS call from a woman in the US seeking help for her 75-year-old mother at Hyderabad, he immediately mobilized his fellow cyclists and delivered medicines to her doorstep.
The senior citizen was running short of life-saving medicines. She was unable to move out given the risk of contracting COVID infection. And she called up her daughter in the US who in turn rang up Selvan. And rest as they say is history.
In fact, Hyderabad-based Selvan, a programme manager at an IT firm who was adjudged 'Bicycle Mayor of Hyderabad' by Amsterdam-based 'BYCS', along with a handful of fellow cyclists have formed `Relief Riders', an organization to run errands for elderly people and home-bound COVID patients.
Besides Selvan, two other IT professionals -- Ravi Sambari, Dinesh Sale --- and Vijay Jabbireddy, a civil services aspirant, are members of `Relief Riders'. The team has received support from other cyclist groups including `Hyderabad Cyclists' and `Happy Hyderabad'.
They were inspired Bengaluru Cyclists, the Bicycle Mayor of Hyderabad, Santhana Selvan, launched the initiative on 30 April. Currently, the team has over 150 volunteers. They have distributed the team in smaller groups. Each group has four to five volunteers and they are being tasked with the responsibility of a particular area. The team receives 100 calls each day and delivers essentials to the doorsteps of senior citizens.
When Selvan receives a call, he passes on the details to the team. After verification, a message is posted in the Relief Riders WhatsApp group. Volunteers of that locality take up the request and deliver the goods at the doorsteps. The team has also been getting requests for hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, emergency drugs, blood plasma, and food, etc.
"Most of the senior citizens are less aware of digital payments. They feel comfortable paying in advance for the medicines and groceries. Members of the group have voluntarily sponsored numerous food and medicine deliveries to people who cannot afford or have been hit by this pandemic. Our deliveries are not just confined to senior citizens but COVID patients as well. We also deliver meals and gifts from loved ones to COVID hospitals such as TIMS and Apollo," said Vijay.
Any elderly citizen can now call 9566170334 or 9629557566 between 6 a.m and 10 a.m, provide details of their medicines, and the cyclist will deliver them to their doorsteps.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer and join the group can click on this link https://chat.whatsapp.com/GlNLNxgh4kL6feroXszr7f and join.