Oxygen Langars: Sikh gurdwaras in Delhi help COVID-19 patients breathe

As the national capital gasps for air, gurdwaras like Damdama Sahib have stepped up to provide what are now known as ‘oxygen langars’

By Midhun Vijayan
Published: Tuesday 04 May 2021

“The work that the government was supposed to do, is being done by society today.” The words of Jasmeer Singh, a volunteer at Gurdwara Damdama Sahib in Delhi, hold true as he and his team work tirelessly to make sure people get oxygen during the second wave of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the national capital.

Gurdwaras are Sikh places of worship and have always been famous for their hospitality and community kitchens or langars. Now, with the pandemic creating a huge oxygen shortage, they have started a drive to help COVID-19 patients with oxygen and other basic facilities.

“These people here are doing whatever they can to help. They also have limited oxygen, so they have to serve on a first-come-first-serve basis,” a relative of a COVID-19 patient told Down To Earth at the gurdwara, where he had brought his father-in-law as a last resort after being turned down by the city’s hospitals. 

Everyday, hundreds of people are coming to the centres set up by gurdwaras like Damdama Sahib in the hope of saving the lives of their loved ones. The organisers of these oxygen langars are helping people as best as they can. However, they too are facing a shortage of resources.

Still, this is a fine example of how communities rise to save lives, when the government fails its people. 

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