The national lockdown, quite essential for the hour, is practically the only available 'vaccine' against the deadly contagious virus. With shops and stores near the residential areas remaining closed for all these days, the daily public life came into a halt, unprecedented.
In the difficult days of the nation-wide lockdown, the most affected are undoubtedly the senior citizens and those with non-COVID medical conditions.
As a matter of fact, these two groups of people are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus communication too.
A helping hand to the elders
In most of the major Indian cities, shops are not let open completely. The online delivery staffs havee therefore been working one's fingers to the bone to help the people with their essential goods and services.
To ease this heavy toil on their shoulders, while helping the elderly people ferry services and essential supplies like medicines and groceries, a team of cyclists have come up with their joint action as the Bicycle Ambassadors.
A venture across the globe, the Bicycle Mayors are the key carriers of goods and essential things across Bengaluru now.
The #CycleToWork campaign was launched in September 2018, that focuses on works cyclists can accomplish. The campaign's online platform has attracted more than 270 companies in a quick span, and registered over 75,000 trips.
Many such initiatives have been organised across Bengaluru that particularly aims at helping the senior people getting medicines, groceries, mental health counselling, as well as with their hospital visits.
The most prominent among them, in the #CycleToWork platform is the Relief Riders campaign. The Relief Riders volunteers have tied up with Bengaluru Police's 1090 Elders Helpline and focus on delivering groceries and medicines at their door steps.
One among the Bicycle Mayors, Sathya Sankaran says "Offices were closed and the cycle commuters were resigned to work from home." "I offered them a chance to put their pedals to good use by asking if they would volunteer to ferry essential supplies to senior citizens," he added.
The Ambassadors are nominated by each company to be readily available for the services until the lockdown ends.
As the #CycleToWork campaign got spread among the people, more number of volunteers expressed their willingness to join the group.
Sankaran makes sure that each of these volunteers is given proper orientation before beginning their works. Each of them is contacted via phone by the Mayor who then provides the 15-minute orientation programme. Being a group of volunteer cyclists and as not much distance is travelled for deliveries, the Relief Riders do not require passes.
Other similar ventures
Another group of volunteers who have launched similar services through bicycles are the social enterprise Silver Talkies.
The team offers local, non-contact volunteering, for elders in the city with the support of a network of young Bengalureans equipped with masks and hand sanitisers.
To enable volunteering on a larger extent, the team has partnered with Dunzo, a city-based delivery app service in buying the essential and critical care items for the old-age people. In addition to this, the Silver Talkies have also launched an interesting access to online games, quizzes, puzzles, e-theatres, e-books, online yoga and meditation classes for the lonely seniors at home.
The KickStart Cabs and the retail group Big Bazaar, along with COVID-19 Responders are a few other such cyclist volunteers who are ready to lend a hand to the old-age 'locked' at home.