Bengal in India has always had a natural inclination towards service, or seva. Service is Yoga in India, as Indians know, and it is through service that one can unite with the Supreme. Service for Indians does not mean how much we are giving, rather, in what state of consciousness we are giving. So when I studied closely the EOK movement, I realized that the spark for service in Bengal still exists and it will always remain.
The Covid -19 relief work is happening all over India. Governments, voluntary organizations, corporates, and individuals are doing their bit. But the crisis is so vast that collective participation around the world is the need of the hour. This analysis is not about how much relief work is done nor it is about who donated the most, it is simply to realize that people of society are joining hands for the Nation. Nations are joining hands with Nations. A New World without any boundaries. A New World where people serve without claiming anything as their own.
In the last week of April/early May (when the daily Covid cases in Bengal were 20,000 plus), a few established and emerging Entrepreneurs of Kolkata came forward to initiate a movement helping the people of Bengal during the second wave of the pandemic. Within a very short period, more entrepreneurs started joining the movement to serve. The focus was on saving the lives of people affected by the coronavirus. This involved providing around 500 plus beds in hospitals for Covid patients, lifesaving Covid equipment such as BIPAP ventilators, and HFNOs, and skilled manpower such as nursing staff, technicians, and health care workers through the EOK movement.
When the intent is to serve, money automatically seems to appear, which is what happened in this case. Friends, family, colleagues, and fellow entrepreneurs all started contributing and within 25 days, EOK raised around Rs. 5 crores plus for the relief work. Hospitals such as Anandalok hospital, The Calcutta Heart Clinic & Hospital society, Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, Siliguri, Rotary hospital in Purulia, Jain Hospital in Kolkata, Techno Dama hospital in Kolkata, Ramakrishna Sarada
Mission Matri Bhavan were roped in. The EOK core team did not just donate money, they formed subgroups, negotiated with vendors in the procurement process, and made sure installation of equipment happened within a specific time frame. EOK joined hands with the Indian Army – Eastern Command to help them get lifesaving equipment for the civilians.
While speaking with one of initiating founders of EOK – Mr. Pulak Chamaria, the owner of Infinity Group, he said the EOK movement is just the fruit, the seed was sown in the soil of Bengal earlier by our ancient seers. He said no charity is complete if it is not at the same time material, intellectual, spiritual or moral and, above all, loving, for the very essence of charity is love.
To join EOK movement email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Aninda Das is an ecosystem enabler. He resides in Kolkata, West Bengal, working as the head of the corporate communications department in Infinity. He is also associated with organizations such as Vidya Bharati Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Sansthan and Sri Aurobindo Society.