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COVID-19 crisis: 13,500 volunteers registered in Assam to help people manage mental stress

COVID-19 crisis: 13,500 volunteers registered in Assam to help people manage mental stress
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530
Guwahati, Apr 14 (PTI) Around 13,500 persons have

registered themselves as volunteers to help people manage

their mental stress in the ongoing coronavirus crisis under an

initiative launched by the Assam State Disaster Management

Authority.

The volunteers will also be engaged in an exercise of

contact-tracing of the COVID-19 cases in the state, officials

said on Tuesday.

Anticipating that the battle against the pandemic

will be a prolonged effort, the ASDMA has envisaged two

initiatives -- ''Pratirodhi Bondhu'', a scheme for mobilising

volunteers, and ''e-Help Programme''--to tide over the crisis.

M S Manivannan, chief executive officer of the ASDMA,

has already written to all the deputy commissioners of the

state and joined hands with the common service centres across

districts for implementing these two programmes.

"Needless to mention that stress has emerged as a new

challenge in the time of lockdown and prohibitory orders,

which can seriously affect mental health of the people.

"Moreover, fear of financial insecurity coupled with

non-availability of certain basic services related to day-to-

day life and livelihood may hurt people and this have brought

further psychological impact on individuals and families as a

whole," the letter said.

Under the ''Pratirodhi Bondhu'' programme, the

volunteers will be trained to support the frontline workforce

in non-medical activities as per guidelines of the National

Disaster Management Authority and the UNICEF for COVID-19

response.

On the other hand, the same work will also be carried

out under the ''e-Help Programme'' through the existing network

of CSCs.

"Both the initiatives are aimed at providing support

to the frontline workforce in certain non-medical activities

related to COVID-19 response and also to reach out to the

vulnerable section across Assam," the letter said.

It also mentioned that the network of CSCs can be used

to provide essential services like banking,information

dissemination, counselling and telemedicine, veterinary doctor

consultation, training and awareness creation.

When contacted to know details about the initiatives,

Manivannan told PTI: "We have already started the process of

inviting applications for volunteers. In few days, around

13,500 persons have registered on our website."

The ASDMA is also chalking out the guidelines and

modalities, after which these people will be trained and

deployed in all the districts, he added.

According to the concept note of the programme, each

volunteer will be engaged for a period, varying between 10

days and 60 days from April to September this year.

Asked whether the government is anticipating that the

COVID-19 crisis will continue for the next six months,

Manivannan said, "We do not know how long it will continue.

But we are preparing for the long haul."

For the COVID-19 scenario, the main activities of the

volunteers will be to give telephonic support to people,

spread awareness on social distancing, involve in the exercise

of contact-tracing and extend emotional support to elderly,

children and people with disabilities.

He said the ASDMA has already tied up with over 6,000

CSCs in the state to reach out to maximum number of people in

the battle against the deadly virus.

Commenting on the development, CSC chief executive

officer Dinesh Kumar Tyagi said, "Assam will become a model

for addressing issues arising out of the coronavirus crisis,

at panchayat level and to support citizens."

The ASDMA also plans to utilise the CSCs as stock and

distribution points for essential commodities such as

groceries and vegetables for home delivery in coordination

with its field officers. PTI TR

BDC BDC


Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI

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