For the previous nine months, in between lockdowns, self-isolation and social distancing, life as we know it has changed. But working in the midst of this pandemic have been the frontliners who have been risking their lives only to lead us into a new, safe future. Even when the entire world had gone on a halt, they worked tirelessly, still working, some at the frontlines and others in the shadows, making sure our stay-at-home life remains safe and sound.
It’s right about time when community at large comes together to pay a tribute to their tireless efforts.
There can be various ways to help and support the healthcare heroes around the globe but the best one is saying thank you, appreciating what they have been doing for the sick ones and recognising the risk they have been putting themselves into for others.
Though in many countries, including Qatar, the numbers of new Covid-19 positive cases are on the decline, the danger is not completely over yet. The frontline heroes need morale boosting support for their long and risky but essential work.
Riya Mahajan, student and expatriate from India, has initiated a drive to send hand-written letters of appreciation to what she calls healthcare heroes in Qatar. “I have been a resident of Qatar since 2012. I graduated from Birla Public School in March 2020 and am currently a freshman studying engineering from Purdue University, Indiana, US,” said Riya, who has founded an organisation – Letters for Good – and has also developed a website.
The student, daughter of a medical practitioner in Qatar, has felt the need to appreciate the healthcare heroes for their challenging job. “I founded Letters for Good in June 2020. My father – Dr. Narinder Kumar – is working as a cardiologist at Al Khor Hospital. So, I am familiar with the pandemic’s effect on the mental health of healthcare heroes and their families. The long working hours and uncertainty have intensified the healthcare workers’ already challenging jobs, leading to stress, anger, and frustration. As a tribute to all these healthcare workers, I decided to start a letter-writing campaign to express my appreciation and hopefully make their tough days a little better.
Riya has registered the website for her organisation at allforgood.org. “After gaining many volunteers, I contacted and received confirmation from Al Khor Hospital that they will be partnering with me to help distribute these letters to the healthcare heroes. I reached out to my friends and family through my personal social media accounts and also plan to contact schools and universities in Qatar to receive interested volunteers.”
The student calls her effort as a community-driven project to say thank you to the healthcare heroes. “This is a community-driven project involving children, youth, and adults from all sections of society. I encourage everyone to write letters and spread the word amongst their friends and family. It takes only 15-20 mins to write a letter to appreciate someone who has been working for hours and putting themselves at constant risk. I plan to send out a bi-weekly or monthly magazine with the letters, drawings and volunteer descriptions, starting from the first week of October. The letters will be handwritten and will be scanned and e-mailed to the healthcare heroes. Volunteer hours will be provided to all volunteers. There is no limit to the number, creativity, or personal feel to the letters, which should be scanned and e-mailed to [email protected]”
Riya is also looking for magazine design, web design, social media, and outreach volunteers. “The magazine design volunteers will help design the magazines to be sent out. Web designers will help develop the organisation’s website further. The social media volunteers will help with social media awareness and outreach. The outreach volunteers will help contact different organisations to recruit new volunteers.”
The young volunteer recognises the fact that the healthcare providers have been treated well in Qatar but says they always need appreciation. “During this unprecedented crisis, frontline healthcare workers are selflessly working around the clock to ensure that the most vulnerable amongst us get access to the best healthcare services. These heroes are putting themselves in danger’s way and are saving countless lives. The heroes deserve our deepest gratitude and admiration for their dedication, commitment, and courage. This is also a way for citizens to pay tribute to the healthcare personnel, who lost their lives due to the pandemic. This is also a platform for citizens to earn volunteering hours when everything in-person has been canceled.”
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