Hyderabad: Lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic is posing several hurdles for Indians abroad. Scattered across the world in pursuit of education and employment, many are facing daunting challenges with lack of food and supplies and financial crisis.
To address the current issues and needs of Indians in the United Kingdom, Akhil Ennamsetty, a Covid-19 survivor hailing from Warangal joined hands with Stephen Anurag Prathipati, who is presently pursuing Masters in London, and started a website https://steveandakhil.wixsite.com/stephenandakhil/forum named after Stephen & Akhil that broadly addresses major issues related to logistics and health.
Akhil had tested positive for Covid-19 in March and recovered after two weeks of isolation in Gandhi Hospital. His social media posts and inboxes started flooding with comments and messages from Indians abroad about their own health concerns. That is when he decided that this issue needs to be addressed on a large scale and together with Stephen Anurag launched a website to take up the queries and act on the requirements.
Given that students are the worst-hit due to the closure of part-time jobs, the duo, who met each other through the Clinton Global Initiative, is coordinating with the student unions across various universities in Britain and through them appealing to the university managements to provide hardship funds to the students.
“Many student accommodations are pressurising the students who have left their rooms to pay the remaining installments of rent as per the original contract. So, we seek the help of certain Members of Parliament (House of Commons, UK) to lobby with the government to pass certain guidelines to regulate this issue,” says Akhil, a 24-year-old lawyer.
The duo is also crowdfunding to assist Indians in the UK who don’t have enough money to buy essential supplies. In case of immediate need for meals, they connect those Indians to the Akshaya Patra Foundation and other charitable trusts in the UK. They are also making every effort to debunk fake news and provide authentic information.
In most of the foreign countries, the government is not accepting any admissions in the hospital until it turns into an emergency which is resulting in nervousness in most of the Indians. “Most people ask what is to be done in case they are experiencing symptoms and have a feeling that they could’ve contracted the virus. Since I have already been through that and have come out successfully, I personally talk to them and suggest how to build immunity and stay mentally strong,” he adds.
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