‘Semi-starved cows of India will live longer than the hefty bulls of the West’, or so it was said in the middle of the last century. COVID- 19 is proving, beyond doubt, one more time. I wish to share a few experiences:
Travel from New York to Mumbai During COVID- 19
Here is a message that I received from a friend. No media. No hearsay. Direct, first- hand, from the one who traveled from New York to Mumbai on Air India Special Flight to evacuate Indians on May 12-13, 2020.
“Applied for evacuation knowing I had a slim chance.
Preference is given to Senior Citizens (65+), pregnant mothers and family and children below 10 and family. My name cropped up. There was chaos at EWR (Newark/NJ) as many had cancelled or No-show. Why?
Upon arrival 14 days mandated Institutional Quarantine at our cost. Possibly.
EWR airport authorities are a mess. ZERO assistance. So, our Air India folks were running from pillar to post. Indian Consulate NY were present in full force. Talking to us, calming us down … as were AI folks.
As for EWR guys? MISSING!!
Boarded to find 2 x meals + basic PPE on my seat. Were told, it is mandatory and if “we could please cooperate”. Most did not!!
14hr flight later arrived in Mumbai.
Clockwork precision. Delay due to social distancing only. BMC present and each person are tracked through Name, home address, Aircraft seat Number.
Mandatory 14 days Institutional Quarantine in hotels who volunteered. Great prices.
Chose Renaissance, Powai. Across the lake from home. 4k all inclusive!! Whaat??!!
Had to fill 8 easy forms. Some forms needed Photocopy as is won’t in India, but there are copy machines (big ones) doing it in seconds.
Select the city in Maharashtra and there is a line. Moves fast. Hotel done, BMC steps in and arranges for transport. Free of cost.
Any smoke breaks? NOPE!!
They ensure you are on the bus to the hotel. Hotel confirms names to BMC.
Check-in takes as long as it takes checking in 3 at a time.
Settled in. Happy to be home.
Honestly? I doubt any other country has the intent or the capacity to do what Modi’s India is doing. Yes. Modi’s India.
Rs 7000 Crore Industry from ZERO
Above is a personal experience. Nationally, as of May 1, 2020, News 18, quoting Empowered Group-3 Chairman who is also the Secretary in the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India, had reported that
“Earlier, there was no domestic manufacturing of PPE in the country and almost all of them were imported. Now, we have 111 indigenous manufacturers. PPE production capacity has increased so much that it has become a Rs 7,000-crore industry in India, the biggest after China.”
The report further added that the current domestic production of PPEs per day is around 1.87 lakh (Lakh= 100,000). Hydroxychloroquine production has increased from 12.23 crore to 30 crore per month (Crore= 10 Million).
PPE at Unheard of Costs
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur has designed and developed a PPE kit for the cost of less than Rs 100, while in mass production. Before someone jumps, doubting quality, the team claims that the kit is as safe as the Standard PPE suites. The team is comprising of biosciences and bioengineering experts and industry partners. The IIT Team has named the kit as PIPES ( Polyethylene- based Improvised Protective Equipment under Scarcity). Those of us who are not aware or updated on the U.S Dollar/ INR exchange rate, it is currently around 1 U.S. Dollar = 76 INR. So, you will have a PPE produced for less than one and half U.S. Dollars.
A world known Yoga Guru from India is now offering his course, ‘Inner Engineering’, online, for developing individual immunity in the face of COVID-19 challenge. He has slashed the price to half, in these challenging times. And it is being offered free for all health care professionals worldwide.
The Wisdom: Know Your Self (KYS)
The banks all over the world follow a principle of KYC (Know your Customer). Indeed, of late, it has evolved into KYCC (Know your customer’s customer), because unless your customer’s customer pays to him/ her, your customer is not going to pay you.
Free of Cost
The world loves ‘free of cost’. Free of cost and discounted prices have been the greatest sources of instant gratification. The guide to KYS is free of cost available from India, now and always. It is free of cost downloadable Bhagwad Gita (455_gita_roman.pdf). For your peace of mind in challenging times, you need to read and fully grasp, to begin with, only one verse: Chapter 13, Verse 5.
In simple words, that verse in Bhagwad Gita answers the question: Who am I?
It says, each human being is made up of 14 components.
5 Action organs like hands, legs, mouth, etc.
5 Sense organs like eyes, nose, ear, skin, etc.
Mind, an amalgam of reactions of sensory organs to sense objects.
Intellect, ability to evaluate, choose and direct.
Ego, the sense of me (I).
Soul, the primordial energy that creates, sustains and destroys (to recreate) life.
Of all the 14, Soul is unmanifest. It is invisible. Those of us who believe there is nothing outside or beyond matter, may not accept it. No arguments.
The President of the United States of America the other day had said that Coronavirus is our ‘invisible’ enemy.
If you don’t see or accept it that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
The message, in simple words, life is made up of two realities. One is manifest and transient, the body; and the other is unmanifest, the Spirit. Human being is primarily mind and intellect and the life is his/ her perception and choice. Never let your spirits sink. Protect yourself physically, stay strong psychologically (be positive, this too shall pass), and be calm!
Dr Sat Parashar is a Professor and Financial Advisor. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org