Rajib Kanti Roy
No matter whether it is day or night time, whenever they come to know that someone has sought help, they make immediate response or reach the doorstep of that person in crisis.
Their services and destinations both are diverse. Someone is rushing towards Narayanganj with an oxygen cylinder or someone is going to Dhaka Medical College Hospital to donate plasma, while another person is receiving phone call to connect a caregiver with a lone Covid-19 patient so that the patient can be taken care of.They are organisers and trained volunteers of “Songjog: connecting people”, a charity organisation, which has been extending their support to the mass people since March 27 last year.
When the country’s hospitals were struggling due to the scarcity of masks, gloves and PPE, and people were fasting in the absence of food in their house, Ahmed Javed Jamal, an engineer who passed from BUET, founded Songjog through a Facebook group. Later, more engineers and people from other professions joined the organisation and now it has over 67,300 members.
Songjog has distributed 4,000 pieces of medical gown, 10,000 masks and 2,000 bottles of hand sanitiser in various hospitals so far. The charity organisation has rebuilt numerous houses in the coastal area which were damaged by cyclone Amphan.
Besides, Songjog job and carrier team has been managing job for the people who have lost their work during pandemic. The organisation has supported non-MPO teachers financially and distributed six thousand blankets among the poor people. Following rise in the number of severely infected corona patients, they prepared an ICU in Noakhali and distributed High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) in Khulna Diabetic Hospital and Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital.
In the last one year, Songjog stood by the marginalised women entrepreneurs and provided them training and helped create market access under Songjukta programme.
Considering the mental state of the children confined in the house during the pandemic, the organisation arranged creative competitions like Bijoy Olympiad on the occasion of Victory Day 2020, and programmes on Amar Ekushey 2021 and Independence Day 2021.Moreover, Songjog’s project “Subah Jahan-Songjog Medical Support Initiative” made sure treatment for the people who cannot afford it.
A dedicated medical support team of doctors is providing emergency medical suggestions through a medical helpline from 2:00pm to 8:00pm every day while plasma and blood donation programme and providing caregiver service have been going on.
Most of these services are free for the people except a few ones which need maintenance and fees to the service providers. However, the poor people are excluded from all charges.
Currently, some 350 oxygen cylinders and 15 oxygen concentrator machines of Songjog are roaming around 15 districts, including Dhaka, Narayanganj, Mymensingh, Netrokona, Chattogram, Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Faridpur, Naogaon, Rangpur, Panchagarh, Chandpur, Khulna, Barishal and Patuakhali to serve the critically infected corona patients according to doctor’s advice.
In Dhaka, Songjog’s oxygen services are supplied from Savar, Uttara, Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Mogbazar and Shonir Akhra areas.
Ahmed Javed Jamal, founder of Songjog, said, “We mainly work based on crowd funding. Our members at home and abroad are financing us. Different corporate and social organisations like Bashundhara Group and Child Health Research Foundation have donated oxygen cylinders. We think this is the best time to stay beside the people.” “People have been suffering amid the coronavirus pandemic. We, from Songjog, are trying to assist them in the areas where they rarely get any support,” he added.