Gurugram: But for Vir Sawhney, these elders would have been left in the lurch during tough COVID times. This 15 year old in Hamilton Court is godsend for them whose sons and grandsons are living abroad leaving them to fend for themselves. He is helping them through his website Help-ID at a time they needed their near and dear ones most.
Vir, studying in grade eleven in Sri Ram School Aravali is cynosure of all eyes of elders. They see in him the image of their grandsons. As seniors are proving most vulnerable to deadly virus, without his timely help, their loneliness and helplessness would have pained them no end.
Vir Sawhney says, ‘I made this website because there was chaos caused by the spread of COVID-19 and a lock down. I felt the need to help people who may not be able to help themselves, such as senior citizens. That is why I decided to make Help-ID to try and make peoples lives as easy as I could.’
In just a couple of days he has touched heart of many a senior by responding and catering to all their needs though 25 volunteers assigned to almost 30 tasks. Since the health of the volunteers and maintaining social distancing are extremely crucial, a page on the website has links and phone numbers of pharmacies and grocery stores which deliver items to our locality, which also makes it easier for the volunteers.
‘Along with material help, talking to the senior citizens and to trying to put a smile on their face makes me extremely happy. Many of these senior citizens stay alone as their families are staying abroad and to make their day even slightly better and make their life easier makes me feel amazing,’ Sawhney adds.
Vir is grandson of Rekha Sharma, Former Chief Dietician, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. She is currently Director and Founder member, Diabetes Foundation (India). Talking to Medicare news, Mrs Sharma said, ‘Due to lockdown the senior citizens of Hamilton Court are confined to their homes without any help. They are also lonely as their children are mostly abroad. So helping them with their daily requirements and talking to them, is not only making their life easy , but also bringing a smile on their lonely faces.
This how the website comes handy to elders in trying times.
On the home page, there are four icons, each icon leading to a different google form, from which the answers are stored in a tabulated form and then the data is analysed. The icons symbolise what help the senior citizens need and a little note is written under them so it is easy for them to understand what each icon is for.
The options for assistance on website are help in the purchase of medicinal pills, help in the purchase of groceries, help with basic housekeeping such as gardening or mopping and help with anything related to the internet such as video calls or problems with the Wi-Fi etc.
Once they have entered their response, they will also receive an SMS and an email confirming their request. The responses are categorised according to what assistance the senior citizen requires along with their locality and flat number. ‘Once I receive the response for assistance I assign the person with the volunteer of that locality to help with that task. Since this website is currently only for Hamilton Court, I have assigned the people to volunteers who had already been assigned to them with the system Hamilton Court previously had.’
Once this website starts expanding to neighbouring condominiums, the senior citizens would be assigned to someone of their locality.
After I assign a volunteer to a senior citizen, the volunteer is provided will the information of that citizen such as name, locality, flat number, phone number and what assistance they require via email and WhatsApp. After the volunteer completes the task, the volunteer must send an email back to me informing me that their task has been completed so I can assure that every task which has been requested has been completed and nobody is left without having their problem being resolved.
Besides helping people in times of need, Vir Swhney enjoys playing the drums and listening to music.