Bikers and students: India's COVID volunteers

Motorcycle racers, entrepreneurs, and now, ambulance drivers

Brothers Murthaza Junaid and Muteeb Zoheb are part of a growing number of informal volunteers, and volunteer groups, across India...

... risking their own health, to try and fight the country's overwhelming coronavirus disaster.

The pair respond to hundreds of calls every week: from transferring patients, to picking up dead bodies.

Zoheb says that seeing harrowing footage of the health crisis, and hearing accounts of families being overcharged by professional ambulance services, spurred them to volunteer.

“So that actually made me very much sad and emotional that this is not the time to sit at home, this is the time to serve my country and the citizens of my country and this is my responsibility as a citizen, rather than blaming on anyone, let me just take it on myself and do my responsibility."

Volunteers like them are particularly cropping up in smaller towns, as the pandemic death toll spreads beyond urban centers.

Some groups help locate critical care beds and stocks of critical supplies.

College student Nicole Cherian has been volunteering with her sister Tina Mary at a Bengaluru graveyard.

"We are not just sitting around because I feel like when I sit around at home, I feel worse or like even if I don't have a fever, I think that I do but now when I am here, when I am on the ground, I feel like I am fulfilling my purpose kind of thing."

On Wednesday Thyrocare, a chain of private laboratories said that two-thirds of people tested in India have shown exposure to coronavirus, fueling fears that the highly infectious India variant has run out of control there.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting