MUMBAI, India — Bollywood actor Huma Qureshi and Save the Children announced that they would be setting up a pediatric ward in New Delhi as part of a new initiative called “Breath of Life.”

Some experts have predicted that children may be impacted to a greater degree when the third wave of Covid-19 hits India. The second wave saw an increase in infections amongst the younger population.

While preparing the new ward, special care is being taken to make it child-friendly.

Qureshi and the Save the Children staff visited the Tilak Nagar Colony Hospital in New Delhi on June 29 to take stock of the initiative’s progress. Qureshi also tried her hand at a spot of painting during her visit.

“At Tilak Nagar Colony Hospital in Delhi, I witnessed first-hand how hard work and earnest intentions do bear fruit,” said Qureshi. “My ‘Breath of Life’ mission with Save the Children has received massive support and empowered us to set up a 100-bed Covid-19 facility in the city I proudly call my home. A big thank you to everyone who contributed and stood up for the people in their hour of need.”

“But the battle is not yet over, with speculation rife about an anticipated third wave and its potential impact on our children, we need to be prepared. I am not waiting for the situation to get worse like the second wave. Together with Save the Children, we are preparing already to add a 30-bed pediatric ward to this facility, dedicated for Delhi’s children,” said Qureshi.

“And keeping children in mind, we want to create a ward with child-friendly colors and walls painted with animals. And today, I joined the team in painting a wall. It was overwhelming to see it all come alive. And most of all, to experience the child in me,” said Qureshi.

The 34-year-old actor also met Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti and Additional Commissioner Randhir Sahay of South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), during which a team of doctors was also present with her. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation commissioner thanked Qureshi and Save the Children for the “Breath of Life” initiative.

“SDMC was facing challenges during the second wave of Covid-19 due to shortage of supply of medical oxygen in this facility,” said Bharti while expressing gratitude.

“Breath of Life initiative helped in providing 100 beds for oxygen support.”

“We highly appreciated this support, and going ahead, with the support of this project, we are looking now to set up a 30-bedded pediatric ward with pediatric ICU and neonatal ICU. This collaboration has also created a lively and energetic environment for the doctors, and they are looking forward to the completion of this setup,” said Bharti.

“We understand that children have specific needs, and robust facilities are needed to ensure proper care for children if they are hospitalized,” said Sudarshan Suchi, CEO of Save the Children.

(With inputs from ANI)

(Edited by Anindita Ghosh and Ojaswin Kathuria)

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