As India continues to struggle with a devastating second wave of covid-19, four lawyers from two prominent law firms have joined hands to help.
Vaibhav Kakkar and Akshay Jain from L&L Partners, and Karan Chandhiok and Pooja Mahajan from Chandhiok & Mahajan are working alongside Aster Volunteers, the corporate social responsibility arm of Aster DM Healthcare, and Alshifa Hospital, to convert a school in Delhi into a field hospital.
“The field hospital is likely to be operational this weekend,” Chandhiok told India Business Law Journal. “It will have oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators and other medical equipment. It will be a 50-bed covid care centre in the Scholar School in southeast Delhi’s Jamia Nagar.
“It will serve every individual who is in acute need of medical support once infected by covid. There is a dearth of medical facilities, and our medical infrastructure is overburdened. [The hospital] will help those who do not have access to social media or contacts to make a distress call … It will serve the labourers who cannot afford home care.”
The lawyers are seeking to raise INR20 million (US$270,000) to bring the hospital into operation and cover its operating costs. So far, they have raised almost half of this amount.
Volunteers from Aster DM Healthcare will staff the hospital. Meddo Foundation will provide online consultation support to patients, while former Natco Pharma executive CV Narayan Rao is providing technical assistance.
Asked what prompted him to take this initiative, Chandhiok says: “A few days into the surge, we realised that there was no medical infrastructure in place. Foremost, people needed oxygen, but supply was severely limited. We then decided to pool funds to augment oxygen supply and import oxygen concentrators.”