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Kolkata teenager raises funds to buy oxygen concentrator for Covid patients | Kolkata News

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Budding cricketer Sidhant Khemka, a student of Class 9 of Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, raised Rs 65,000 to buy an oxygen concentrator machine.

KOLKATA: While government organisations scramble to provide healthcare services for the Covid affected, teenagers from the city are stepping in to do their bit.
Budding cricketer Sidhant Khemka, a student of Class 9 of Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, raised Rs 65,000 to buy an oxygen concentrator machine.
Twenty-five people contributed to the fund. The 14-year-old approached a service organization, run by the Jain community, to procure a 5-LPM concentrator.
Sidhant had seen the effects of Covid-19 up close and personal.
“A few months ago, my mother, grandfather, uncle, aunt and cousin were infected with Covid. Since we are a close-knit joint family, all this was very disturbing for us. Especially, seeing my mother being taken to the hospital was a very difficult for me and my younger sister,” he said.
The family recovered but the seeds of empathy for other patients were sown in the teenager.
“When the second wave became overwhelming, all I could see around me were news of people who were struggling for oxygen across the city. We had so many known people who were desperate for oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators and many couldn’t simply afford it.”
As the numbers shot up, Sidhant came across various social organisations who were donating money, equipment or food.
“I read about NGOs, business houses, sportsmen, celebrities and community groups who were coming together to provide help. I was not sure how I could help but wanted to do my bit,” he said.
The boy who is training to be a professional cricketer, added, “I then started reading about what oxygen concentrators are and how these were helping patients. I felt that while I could not go out and physically help people, I could at least raise money to buy one and donate it to someone. Even if I could help one family or one person, it would mean a lot to me”.
He spoke to his parents, Vivek, a senior corporate executive, and Ritu, a homemaker. They encouraged him to reach out to close family and friends first.
“We were touched when he came to us and we only advised him not to ask for an exorbitant amount from any individual since everyone was going through their own crisis”, his mother said.
Sidhant reached out to his friends and their parents and his teachers and raised the money over the last few days.

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