Battered Event Industry Braves Second Covid Wave as One, Proves Mettle with Relief Work

Industry Watch | May 26, 2021 | News

EEMA Roshan Abbas Siddhartha Chaturvedi Ruchin Kohli Deepak Pawar

That the event industry is among the hardest hit by the Covid19 pandemic is known. What is also evident now, with proof, is that this is an industry that can use its planning and execution skills in times of unprecedented crises, to alleviate human suffering.    

At the onset of the second Covid19 wave, the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) formed a Second Wave Covid Taskforce. Soon, it would grow organically into a community of like-minded who wanted to do their bit, across the country. 

As EVENTFAQS Media has outlined in its series on ‘EEMA’s Silent Covid Warriors’, a slew of initiatives by those aligned with the Taskforce has helped mitigate the pains of those afflicted by the killer virus and their families.    

The Taskforce saw zonal teams executing several initiatives on the ground in line with the need of the hour in that region, in real time. 

These included:

• Management of Saint Nirankari Covid Facility Burari & Rakabganj Gurdwara

Approved by the Delhi government, EEMA helped provide volunteers and staff for management of the Sant Nirankari Covid Facility in Burari and Rakab Ganj Gurudwara. Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain visited the facility and appreciated the efforts. 

• 24-Hour Oxygen Support Helpline 

Due to overwhelming demand, many oxygen suppliers had switched off their phones or were not able to respond. Members in the community created a 24-hour oxygen helpline, which provided real-time updates on oxygen availability in Delhi-NCR along with addresses twice a day. 

Over 5,000 distressed callers have been helped so far, according to EEMA.

• Partnership with Apollo 24*7

Through a partnership, EEMA was able to provide doctor consultation and 15 percent  discount on medicines to event industry stakeholders. 

• Launch of the CoviHeal Covid Facility, Gurugram

This project has admittedly been among the biggest efforts. The facility is a field hospital brought to life by senior doctors and trained medical practitioners, supported by EEMA. It currently caters to 45 patients with mild and moderate Covid symptoms. The place is equipped with oxygen concentrators, PPE medical kits and other essentials. 

• Mental wellness

Helping people manage their mental well-being, live sessions with motivational speakers and doctors have been organised to infuse patients with positivity and a stronger attitude. 

• Zonal Initiatives 

Several other initiatives have made a difference at the zonal level, including blood donation camps, wellness webinars, doctor consultations, and more. EEMA members tied up with hospitals to generate beds for the people in the event fraternity and also for others in need. Creating awareness on the importance of wearing masks, a video titled #MaskPodu was circulated widely.

An Industry in Distress

It is to be noted that these efforts have come from an industry that has been severely affected by the Covid19 pandemic of 2020 and its second wave of 2021. From double-digit growth, it is now fighting for its survival. 

EEMA recently filed a petition to the government seeking urgent steps to help the industry sustain itself. 

Roshan Abbas, President, EEMA, said, “We believe the Event Management community is best at crisis management, planning, innovation and execution. While our work is suffering and in our dialogues with the government representatives, we have shared this multiple times that our sector needs strong support for nearly 10 million people who are suffering a lot. Yet we have decided that the nation needs us and so with our efforts we shall aim to serve humanity. The above mentioned initiatives, brought event people on the forefront showcasing them and how they have served the needy in such times. I thank everyone for their innumerable dedication and support. I have received numerous calls applauding our effort. The event management community has shown what it is capable of.”

Siddhartha Chaturvedi, General Secretary, EEMA, said, "These have been extremely testing times for all of us. EEMA with its strong member support has proven its mettle. Where the government lacked in certain areas, our members came forward as volunteers and supported them with all heart and soul. I salute each and every Covid warrior who has stood for the need of others than their own.” 

He added, “The event community is at an all-time low. We request the government to empathise with us now at least. If the first wave meant no business for us for a year, the second wave has washed away all our hopes for this year as well. Request the government to hear our pleas and help us with direct monetary support to keep the jobs and this industry afloat.”

Deepak Pawar, Secretary, EEMA, said, “Humanity is what kept us alive in this pandemic that brought us immense losses. The zeal within us to make a difference has helped us reach out and cater to the masses during this deadly second wave. I salute all the covid warriors for physically, monetarily and emotionally contributing towards organising oxygen support, arranging hospital beds, medicines, food and emotional support. Words can’t express our gratitude and we thank you for being a part of the event fraternity.” 

Apex body EEMA had also recently petitioned the government seeking urgent steps including direct monetary support to help industry come through.

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