Bengaluru-based Mercy Mission

Anju Ann Mathew
Mercy Mission
Mercy Angels ensured that victims of COVID-19 received a dignified death.

Bengaluru-based Mercy Mission has brought together 25 NGOs with around 400 volunteers, to tackle different challenges relating to the pandemic. No task is ever cumbersome for the relentless volunteers.

When the pandemic first hit in March 2020, and with the lockdown that ensued, most people in the country retreated into the safe confines of their homes.

Meanwhile, homeless people, migrant workers, and other underserved populations of the society were left to fend for themselves.

While many suffered, many others braved the challenges and went on to look for sources of income, thrusting themselves into the frontline.

Numerous NGOs sprang into action to distribute care packages for those in distress.

But a group of people based in Bengaluru, under the title Mercy Mission, came together to represent different NGOs and organisations so they could mobilise all the support and reach out to a larger number of people and areas within the city.

Mercy Mission started as a coalition of about four to five NGOs in the beginning, but it is now a large group with over 25 NGOs working in collaboration, including The Lifeline Foundation, The United Foundation (TUF), Project Smile, HBS Hospital, and HWA Charitable Foundation, among others. These NGOs are all aligned to the cause of helping the underserved and the helpless fight the pandemic.

One of the Mercy Mission NGOs, HBS Hospital, became a dedicated COVID-19 facility in April 2020 with 50 beds. Mercy Mission also facilitated HBS Hospital to open and operate an oxygen centre with 32 rooms under the guidance of Dr Taha Mateen.

The centre catered to COVID patients who were fit for discharge but needed close monitoring and oxygen support. It helped enhance hospital capacity and free beds for critical patients.

During the first wave, over 250 patients benefitted from this initiative. With the surge in demand in the second wave, the model has now been adopted and renamed by the government as “Step Down Hospital” in April 2021.

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