How the power of social media was harnessed to save lives. Actor Bhumi Pednekar who has been actively helping out the Covid-19 patients writes exclusively for HT City about her experience
I have always believed that the emergence of the human race to reach the digital world would not harm us or our planet. How can a powerful tool like social media be so bad when it actually has the power to bring about change and growth with the millions it achieves? It is the most connected human race in its history. And we would be foolish if we did not use this method to our advantage.
For me and my past plans, the biggest of which has been the Climate Weather Strategy so far, where I use my various social media platforms to promote climate change and its negative consequences, I can see now more than ever that my biggest resource today is the connection I have with my social media . It is my personal battle room in our fight against the Covid19 virus. He put me in touch with wonderful people, who in one of my tweets jumped in to help me, educate me, help me spread awareness, raise funds, help people who need help to contact us from the remotest parts of the country. It has helped me to create a community of over 350 volunteers who want to serve the people. All in a few weeks. It has been one of my most powerful and humbling experiences and has renewed my faith in humanity.
It all started with the shock that I experienced when we all got the virus. It was difficult as we had a bad experience with the disease but what made it difficult for the mothers was the hospital stay From that first phone call where we were told we needed to allow him to arrange a plasma for him for all the noise he came up with, it wasn’t easy. Even with all the help I had it was not easy. As family members we are anxious, confused and anxious. I’m not complaining because I’m lucky to have people out there directing me on this. But how many will be lucky? They don’t have the soft power or privilege I had gained through my work. I should have given back and not kindly this time. I realized it was time to get out of there, on the ground in this digital age. My social media officers became my mainstay of support for many people in need. I started by going through my DM’s, sharing one plasma application, not knowing if it would work. I don’t have to wait too long and have a message for the patient to find a donor and it starts that way. Within minutes my DMs were full of applications and people marking me with potential sleeves. Earlier that day, I had met some like-minded people who did the same work in their cities. The next day she went from plasma and medicine to beds, oxygen cylinders, ambulances, breast milk donors, blood platelets and many more critical SOS calls.
From that social network I have used, it has led to the formation of 11 different WhatsApp groups operating in India and volunteers from around the world working 24/7 trying to help people with whatever we can. Through various platforms people contact us, expanding applications while working on individual cases to ensure they get the help they need. Many good Samaritans join the ranks / cases and send us clues, expanding the aid and it is this power that is synchronized with the network of people connected to the internet exchanging resources and information that made this relief effort possible.
I have never felt this connection to humanity, I have never felt this protected, supported and loved. I have never felt this empowerment and I am so brave.