By Ritwik Mukherjee
This certainly is entrepreneurship with a difference. A group of young, effervescent entrepreneurs and start-ups from Kolkata has now flagged off a novel ( and noble too) initiative, aptly called “Breathe Again” to create an additional force against the second wave of Covid 19, teaming up with some of the leading State-run and private hospitals.
The newly floated group’– Entrepreneurs of Kolkata (EOK) comprises successful entrepreneurs like Sagar Daryani, founder, Wow! Momo, Pulak Chamaria, owner Infinity Group, Aditya Ladsaria, founder Chai Break and Amit Saraogi of Anmol Feeds, among others. The whole idea is to bring in agility, quick thinking, crowd funding and nimble footedness to this fight against Covid.
“Breathe Again” – aims at facilitating Covid care facilities including setting up of 500 + HDU / Isolation beds in partnership with private / government hospitals, oxygen supply, procurement of oxygen concentrators, providing medical infrastructural support such as procurement of Ventilators, Bipap Machines & medical devices.
EOK is raising funds from amongst their own network & connects with the ultimate goal to set up more Hospital beds in partnership with leading government & private hospitals within the city. The organisation is also using its connections to arrange for ventilators & oxygen cylinders for hospitals. Besides the ten members in the core group, another 100 entrepreneurs directly backing them along with over 1000 entrepreneurs also doing their bit to contribute with the vision to set up 500 plus hospital beds including 200 + ICU beds in Kolkata as the situations gets more critical & grimmer with every day. The dynamic team is also fast-tracking the import of 50 Bipap Ventilators from Singapore through the support of Maharashtra Chambers of Commerce & Temasek Singapore.
“The initiative rekindles the spirit of entrepreneurship in the city; for entrepreneurs are those who believe in bringing a change. Our aim is to equip the government and hospitals with secondary forces. This initiative provides the business and start-up ecosystem of Kolkata to give back to the city in this hour of need. We request more people from Kolkata to come forward and contribute to making this initiative a larger and more impactful success. Even an Rs. 100 each contributed by residents of Kolkata will go a long way in making this crown funding more impactful,” said Sagar Daryani.
EoK has already kick-started its first 2 initiatives with Techno Indo-DAMA Hospital 4 days back and is in talks with Charnock to set up another 200 beds in 2 phases of 100 beds each. Another 18 ICU beds are being set up with Anandalok Hospitals in Salt lake Bypass.
“When the medical infrastructure was collapsing right in front of our eyes, city entrepreneurs and community leaders got together and took charge of the situation like never before. It’s been quite surreal to be part of this journey in the last few days and I’m glad that collectively the decision was taken to ramp up ICU bed capacity at multiple hospitals including Techno DAMA Covid ward, which we had set up from scratch over the last week. National and international support has been pouring in for the ‘Breathe Again’ fundraiser and hopefully, with all the collective resources, we will be able to stand in support of the doctors and frontline workers effectively in the weeks to come, said Meghdut Roy Chowdhury, director of Global Operations at Techno India Group and Member, EoK.
“It’s not about doing different things; its about doing it differently. This is the sole motto that drives EOK” said Manish Agarwal, Founder Orion Edutech and an integral part of the core group. Orion Edutech.
Amit Saraogi, Managing Director, Anmol Feeds, said, “EOK and all those associated with this initiative are dedicated to helping India and our fellow countrymen at this hour of need. We want to use our connections and strengths in the best way possible to flatten the curve. We urge everyone to contribute as much as they can to support our efforts in serving our country. Together, while staying apart, we will win this war.”
By Ritwik Mukherjee