Date: April 2, 2020
Until the day when cases arrived in Odisha, people weren’t serious about the virus that had taken many lives all over the world. The government has announced the seriousness of this virus since March and kept giving awareness through the media to avoid gatherings. When the first corona case arrived in Bhubaneswar on March 13, awareness generation and training of ASHA and Anganwadi workers was started at block level around Covid-19.. This thereon was spread among villagers with proper awareness about the virus and demonstration of wearing masks, washing hands for at least 20 seconds, maintaining distance and keeping ill people isolated, etc. The first action taken was closing of all schools, colleges, Anganwadi and other institutions.
To support the government in this drive, PRADAN Lamtaput team started the awareness drive during the lockdown period. Various means of communications have been used to reach out to the community and create awareness and help in addressing the issues. Some of the important steps taken are:
- Creating WhatsApp groups and posting government banners and videos around covid-19 among the community
- Compiling a village wise list of old, diabled and other vulnerable families for the urgent support from the administrations and making provision for ration distribution.
- Collating the list of all the people who have a recent travel history and informing the block administration for the necessary action.
- Making arrangements for Passes for the vendors in consultation with district and block administration to maintain a regular supply of essential commodities in the village. In some places the team has also made provision for the transport.
- Strict instructions are followed at the village level while distribution ration and other essential stuff and social distancing and utmost care to hygiene is maintained.
- The team has started initiating and arranging for agriculture input such as seeds and fertilizers to farmers. WhatsApp groups of farmers, Village level Agri-entrepreneurs have been created and necessary information and crop planning is being initiated on those groups.
- The team is also coordinating with the MGNREGA cell at the block level to generate work codes of different MGNREGS activities so that MGNREGA work can start immediately after the lockdown period is over.
PRADAN Lamtaput, Odisha