Immanuel “Fogman” Pathare – One Man Army's Fight Against Dengue.
India is not alien to Dengue and alarmingly, the cases are increasing with each passing year. The chances of the numbers improving seems pretty bleak and this has become a major cause of worry across the nation. The efforts are shown by the state governments but it’s hardly enough.
In such adverse situation the only ray of hope are the citizens like Immanuel Pathare. Immanuel is a young 19 year old boy, first-year B.Com student and a one-man army in the movement against dengue in Hubblli, Karnataka.
Last year in 2017, Karnataka witnessed major floods, with floods came diseases. The most prominent of them was Dengue. Dengue though had been notoriously present since long, but it almost became an outbreak during those times. 100’s of people lost their lives fighting this disease.
Immanuel, unlike most kids of his age, was always aware of social concerns. He was a part of the Deshpande Foundation's Leaders Accelerating Development (LEAD) programme. Immanuel knew he couldn’t just sit and watch people dying of this deadly disease. He had to take the matters in his own hands.
He decided to Fog Hubblli himself and at regular intervals to get rid of the mosquitoes. He approached the local corporation for a fogger, though they were sympathetic to his concerns, but they informed him that it takes more than 10 months to secure a Fogger. Immanuel couldn’t wait that long he knew people were dying and something had to be done fast.
Luckily, he found a spare fogger at the foundation, he was earlier a part of. He did his homework thoroughly by getting the composition of the gas checked and approved by the health Inspector. Pathare, went on to fog 65 areas including Keshwapur, Chanakyapuri, Kalmeshwar Nagar and others, single handedly for free.
Soon the foundation’s fund started to deplete. They knew they couldn’t carry this for long until and unless they start charging a minimal sum from the locals. So they started charging for the gas and fuel alone.
No efforts goes waste. Pathare's efforts have been widely appreciated and the number of mosquitoes and with that dengue cases have come down in the area. Pathare charges Rs 300 for 50 houses and Rs 600 for 100 houses.
This 50 kg lad can be often seen armed with a 40 kg fog gun, a mask and cotton buds in his ears, fogging the lanes and by-lanes of Hubballi. The most difficulty he faces is convincing people because he still looks like a boy. Some even advise him to go back to study.
Immanuel doesn’t want to restrict himself and his efforts to just areas that can afford to pay but also wants to go out to areas that can’t. He is very well aware that slums are more prone to such diseases due to poor hygiene standards. To make it possible, he has started a crowd-funding campaign on Milaap.
Today, his initiative has not only helped Hubblli, but other districts too are following his foot-steps, Belgaum, Bijapur to name a few. Immanuel plans on visiting them once a month to check on their progress. He is determined to continue his fight against dengue and we too can help him. Visit www.milaap.org/fundraisers/help-fogman-pathare to know more.
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Picture Source : Milaap ; Lead India