Two women Bangladeshi bravehearts risking their lives daily to reach oxygen to Covid patients

Two women - a former woman cricketer and a software engineer – have emerged as life saviours in Bangladesh for risking their lives to reach oxygen to Covid-19 patients

Sep 28, 2021
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Arifa Jahan Bithi “Oxygen Lady"

Two women - a former woman cricketer and a software engineer – have emerged as life saviours in Bangladesh for risking their lives to reach oxygen to Covid-19 patients.

While Arifa Jahan Bithi - a 23-year-old former cricketer-turned trainer  - resides in the Rangpur district, software engineer Sheikh Suhana lives in Dhaka.

Arifa Jahan Bithi has recently been given the name “Oxygen Lady" as a token of respect for her courage during this critical time.

SM Osman Gani, son of a Covid-19 survivor and resident of Dhap Katkipara in Rangpur, said: “What she did for my family … she is nothing short of a lifesaver.

“My father was fighting the deadly virus three months ago. We were looking for oxygen and weren’t finding any. At that time, the Oxygen Lady came to our rescue with an oxygen cylinder,” he told BSS.

Bithi built an oxygen bank with the help of some personal donors by conducting a campaign on Facebook. She has been using the funds to deliver life-saving oxygen cylinders to poverty-stricken Covid-19 patients.

Arifa herself does not come from a well-off family. She earlier earned bread and butter for her family members by playing cricket. She is also the founder of Women's Dreamer Cricket Academy Rangpur, the first of its kind in the area.

Arifa said: “Yes, it’s true that I have to work hard to support my own family. But I can’t resist helping others after witnessing the misery and helplessness of the patients.”

She was a cricketer who used to play in the Women’s Premier Cricket League in Dhaka but, after an injury, now concentrates on giving cricket training to local girls in Rangpur at her academy.

 “I had 250 girls in my institute, but had to shut down my training center when Covid-19 surged in our area and the government imposed the lockdown,” she said.

Suhana Islam has been working to deliver oxygen cylinders to Covid patients in Dhaka since the outbreak of the deadly virus in the country.

"We are giving oxygen support to those patients who cannot go to the hospital," said Suhana, who resides in the city’s Panthapath area.

Suhana said she collects oxygen cylinders from wholesale markets with financial support from donors and delivers them to distressed people free of cost.

(SAM)