UK doctor with Calcutta roots helps fight Covid second wave – Telegraph India

Kolkata News

A 10-year childhood association with the city and its people prompted a London-based Bengali doctor to stand with Calcuttans during the second wave of Covid-19.

Wales-born Rimona Sengupta, an alumnus of Julien Day School, Ganganagar, raised funds and offered help to many Covid-affected people and organisations who were working at the grassroots level to fight the pandemic here.

From April to June, Sengupta sent oxygen concentrators, nebuliser machines, pulse oximeters, personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, masks, goggles, fogger and sanitiser machines worth over Rs 10 lakh to doctors, health care workers and many NGOs in Bengal and other parts of the country.

For Bengal, she sent medical equipment worth over Rs 2.5 lakh, including an oxygen concentrator to the city.

“My parents live in Calcutta. In March, when I was there, the Covid protocols seemed to me to be a farce. I knew tough times were ahead for India,” said the 42-year-old doctor from London.

Her father, Samir Sengupta, is an ophthalmologist. He had worked in Wales and England before returning to Calcutta when Rimona was eight. After completing school at Julien Day, she got admitted to St Paul’s College, Calcutta. After her Class XII exams, she went to Russia and studied medicine at St Petersburg State Medical University. Rimona started working in the UK in 2005.

“In April, I made a fundraising appeal on a website and formed a WhatsApp group, UK Covid Help, with all the Indians I know in the UK. However, the highest donation for India came from a Zurich-based research scientist, Alexander Hobbs,” she said.

Rimona’s team partnered with the Khelduar Foundation in Jalpaiguri to reach out to the poor people of north Bengal. They sent 50 pulse oximeters, a thermal temperature gun, two sprayer machines, 30 PPE kits and financial aid of Rs 30,000 to buy oxygen cylinders to the foundation.

“Dr Sengupta’s help came as a blessing. We could reach out to the tribal belt and help them detect the disease early,” said the organisation’s founder member Santanu Ghosh.

Rimona’s team also sent masks, 30 PPE kits, a fogger machine and Rs 25,000 for oxygen cylinders to the Red Volunteers’ Dum Dum unit.

Rimona feels it’s a huge teamwork that made everything possible. “I’m very thankful to all my team members in the UK, our volunteers, social media contacts, healthcare and social workers on the ground as well as contributors from all over the world,” she quipped.