Amid the Covid-19 surge, Indians of Nagpur-origin who have settled abroad have decided to pool their resources to help their native city.
Sanjay Paithankar, a doctor and philanthropist who settled in Dubai several decades ago, has organised oxygen concentrators and cylinders worth 2.5 lakh dollars to be shipped to Nagpur over the next 15 days.
Paithankar runs a chain of clinics in Dubai that caters exclusively to people from low-income groups, mainly workers. Last year, the Dubai government bestowed upon him the rare honour of a 10-year Gold visa.
“I formed a WhatsApp group of Indians in Dubai to see how we can help our city of origin…Several people magnanimously responded and we have organised 600 oxygen concentrators and 200 cylinders, which will be together worth 2.5 lakh dollars, including shipment charges,” Paithankar told The Indian Express.
Of these, Paithankar has dispatched by air 150 concentrators, each of 5 litre capacity, which will arrive in Nagpur on May 8.
The Dubai Indians group is coordinating with the office of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari for the same. “We spoke to Gadkari and told him that we want to contribute. He was happy and asked us to send the material to the city, where it could be distributed to the needy through proper channels,” Paithankar said.
“The remaining 500 concentrators will be shipped from China and will come to India via Hong Kong or Singapore within the next 15 days,” Paithankar added.
One of the contributors is a businessman from Nagpur, now based in Dubai, who is sending a shipment of 250 concentrators. “He wants to do it anonymously,” Paithankar said. These concentrators were procured from China, Paithankar added.
On Tuesday, Paithankar, an alumnus of Government Medical College and Nagpur (GMCH), inaugurated his 61st clinic for the low-income group in Dubai. He thanked the government for waiving GST on these supplies on Monday evening. “With GST, it would have cost us more but we were still determined to deliver it,” Paithankar said.
“I am trying to get 250 more concentrators to be sent to Nagpur,” Paithankar added.