DNA Exclusive: Bhumi Pednekar recalls ‘hellish time’ when her mom tested positive, opens up on COVID warrior initiative

Bollywood star Bhumi Pednekar has been leading from the front to save lives of people batting the COVID-19 crisis. She started a digital initiative COVID Warrior that has looked to unite Indians to save fellow citizens in need. The social media initiative that started with a team of just 5, is now 200 + volunteer strong across India, who work 24×7 to save as many lives as possible by intercepting SOS messages on social media. She has been working non-stop to find ICU ventilator, oxygen, oxygen beds and critical medicines across the country besides amplifying requests for plasma.

When asked what prompted her to start the digital initiative, Bhumi told DNA, “For me, the COVID Warrior journey has been an extremely intimate one. I had a hellish time when my mother contacted the virus and she was extremely serious. Though that time wasn’t as nightmarish as it is today, I was still at a loss trying to figure things out for my mom. Then, it struck me hard that if privileged people like us from the cities are going through such hard times, what would be the condition of those who are less privileged?”

She added,  “I shuddered at that thought and I told myself that as soon as my mother felt fine, I will dedicate my time to fight for every life that I can save. That’s how COVID Warrior came into existence and has become a network of the people, by the people and for the people to save humanity at large.”

About giving it her all and trying to save as many lives, Bhumi said, “So, despite all the heartbreaks of losing lives that we were unfortunately not been able to save, we try and keep focusing on lives that can be saved. It’s the only thing that has kept us going while in the midst of such devastation. This is the only thing that we can collectively do while mourning for those lives that have been lost to this deadly virus.”

Recently, Bhumi thanked Indians for coming out in support of people who have contracted the virus in a bid to save as many lives. 

She said, “The pandemic has united us in ways and forms that we had never been before. I want to thank each and every Indian who has come forward to save a fellow citizen, reach out to another person in need. COVID Warrior has used the power of social media for the greater good. It has used the power of digital to unify people fighting a common enemy, the coronavirus.”

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