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“Oxygen on Wheels” Bus launchedfor underprivileged patients in Kolkata

At atime when the entire nation struggles to cope with the horrific proportionstaken by the second wave of Covid 19, various community-led initiatives havebeen introduced to support the activities of the local governments in tacklingthe growing menace as well as introduce innovative concepts to reduce theburden on the government and private medical infrastructure. JITO, a non-profitbody of the Jain community is one such organisation that has launched the“Oxygen on Wheels” concept in Kolkata. Workingclosely with the West Bengal Department of Health and Family welfare,they have introduced the first Oxygen on Wheels Bus in Kolkata on 11th May inKolkata. It includes a modified 32 seater bus equipped with 4 oxygenconcentration machines OF 5 LPM. The bus is also equipped with fans,mobile charging points, and redesigned seats to make patientscomfortable and reduce their suffering. At any given time up to 4patients can be serviced within the bus.  It will be stationed atGovernment hospitals for patients waiting to be admitted and in needof oxygen. A health technician by the hospital will beprovided for giving oxygen support. The entire admission of patients inside thebus will be at the sole discretion of the management of GovtHospital. The hospital will also be supplying the electrical powerrequired to operate the oxygen concentrators. The bus will be moving fromone location to another and stationed at any of the state hospitals in thedirection of the health department.   “Webelieve that this is the time for the entire community to come together as oneand support the activities of the Government in any way possible. We are all inthis fight against Covid 19 together. We look forward to undertaking many moreinitiatives to save precious lives”, said Rajesh Bhutoria, Chairman,JITO Kolkata Chapter.  Bhaven Kamdar, Hon, Secretary, and theperson coordinating was highly appreciative of the support by theGovernment, “We are grateful to the Hon’ble CM for not only giving us thepermission in a matter of hours when this was put forth  but for extendingall support by the Department of Health and Family welfare.”  “The wholething was put together in less than 48 hours from ideation to permissions tothe physical launch of the bus,” as per Sheetal Dugar, one of thebrains behind the concept. Vinod Dugar readily consented and gave the schoolbuses for this noble cause. The costof equipping any single bus with complete infrastructure is in the range of 3Lakh rupees (the bus itself is also of JITO Member) which isbeing fully borne by JITO. They have plans of launching 2-3 more suchOxygen on Wheels buses to support the state healthcare system and bring reliefto patients. Plans are also being discussed to increase the number ofoxygen concentrators in each bus from 4 to 6, depending on how thepilot project is received. The Oxygen on Wheels bus has been presently deployedat the NRS Medical College from today.  AboutJITO:JITO or the Jain International Trade Organisation was formed with themotive of Seva, Economic Empowerment and Knowledge andis a non-profit organisation working towards social and economic empowermentas well as community welfare. They have worked closely inthe past with the Jain Hospital, Howrah in setting up a Covid Careward for 31 patients as well as have fed more than 5 lakh people from theeconomically weak segment of society in West Bengal in coordinationwith various police stations during the first lockdown.

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