In the rapidly changing pandemic, Wiproites picked up their phones to help

When the COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep the nation in 2020, Wipro Cares, the employee-led community initiative arm of the Wipro Foundation, started working with Project StepOne, a volunteer-led organization consisting of technologists, doctors, and creative problem solvers.

The Wipro Cares-Project StepOne partnership supports the government’s efforts in tele-screening COVID-19 patients using the Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS).

The responsibilities of the volunteers included calling patients who have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 and helping them with relevant information to support their recovery. All volunteers received training before interacting with patients and had committed to devoting at least 1 to 2 hours per day.

Vishal Nagpal, a Lead Consultant from Bangalore, volunteered for this initiative as he wanted to contribute to COVID-19 response in any way possible. His work involved identifying high-severity COVID-19 cases (including patients with comorbidity) and getting them immediate medical treatment if required.

“Once, I had to interact with a young couple who had tested positive. They were worried because the couple had toddlers and didn’t want to risk getting them infected. I was able to share emergency contacts and help them stay calm. Both the mother and father were relieved, and I was glad that I could lessen their anxiety,” says Vishal.

As Wipro Cares – Project StepOne volunteer, Vishal has assisted over 300 people.

While volunteers provided basic awareness on self-isolation, hygiene, diet, and measures to follow during the quarantine period to patients, it also helped them reflect on the importance of support during these tough times.

Sony Shetty, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, started volunteering at the peak of the second wave. Her most touching experience was with a senior citizen in Delhi.

“We ended up chatting for almost half an hour. He was happy to have finally spoken to someone after days of being in quarantine. Two takeaways from this experience have been — it might be just a phone call, but it makes a difference to people’s lives, and there might not have been a face to the names, but there was a personal connection for those few minutes,” says Sony.

Over the past months, Wipro volunteers have supported people from different age groups – from a young couple who tested positive to quarantined senior citizens. There were also occasions when volunteers interacted with people who didn’t find enough support in the family or family members of those who succumbed to the virus.

“It has been emotionally challenging for us as volunteers and those on the other side of the phone. Yet, personally, I felt good to provide that moral support to patients and their family members,” says Prasad Tanksali, Senior Architect – Europe, iDEAs, who also volunteered for the project.

Leading with empathy, Wipro volunteers till now have helped more than 10,000 patients get timely access to information on COVID-19, including doctors and hospitals.





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