These profound words of Gandhiji, which
have always stood the test of time carry utmost relevance in today’s unprecedented times.
Each of us needs to rise to the occasion and be responsible for our own actions.
The collective psyche and actions of the people will largely determine the implications of
the pandemic on the society. It is in our best interest to be informed by credible sources,
stay away from dubious sources of information, and encourage others to follow safe practices.
This change should begin with us, in our families and in our immediate communities.
This is the premise on which the next course of action by the BJS will rest. BJS believes that an attitudinal shift among the citizens is the need of the hour and will be a key lever to make our surroundings safer for us and for those around us. On the strength of its grass roots experience since March and having engaged in collaborative action with the state administration along with other stakeholders, BJS is hopeful of shifting the paradigm in the way citizenry responds to crisis. Hence, BJS has now devised a massive campaign –Corona Se Do Do Haath to help the state be in better control of the pandemic. Several people-centered and community-led initiatives as listed below have been launched as a part of this campaign.
To drive community action for planning and implementing Covid-19 related awareness, risk mitigation and support measures at district and sub-district levels across Maharashtra.
To strengthen Covid-related healthcare facilities at district and sub-district levels across Maharashtra by creating additional Covid hospitals/wards and Covid Care Centres.
To increase civic consciousness and awareness levels amongst the people on issues related to Covid-19 and to disseminate credible information through multiple media channels.
To create remote healthcare and support systems for addressing Covid-related concerns of patients and their families.
PEOPLE PARTICIPATION AND PEOPLE-LED MOVEMENTIn order to check and contain the rapid spread of Covid-19, it is imperative that the peoples’ collective conscience and a sense of civic responsibility be activated. This is possible if citizen-led initiatives or movements are formed and made to grow organically in every block and district across the state. BJS intends to play a key role in setting up ‘Zilla Corona-MuktSamiti’ i.e. a committee of volunteers in those districts that are severely affected by Corona.
ESTABLISHMENT OF COVID CARE CENTRES AND COVID HOSPITALS/WARDSThe rapid spread of Covid-19 into the rural areas is a cause for much concern for the state administration considering the adequacy of current healthcare facilities. The need of the hour is to multiply the availability of these facilities in every taluka and district so that the healthcare services can be provided locally, at an affordable cost and without delay. Hence, BJS aims to mobilize the ZillaSamitis to do the following on priority:
CAPACITY BUILDING OF DOCTORSThe rapid spread of Corona has also necessitated the doctor fraternity to be well equipped with the know-how related to the pandemic and various facets of its treatment. It is recommended that every doctor be trained to treat Covid patients as per the need. The Pune Platform for Covid Response (PPCR) is an initiative launched under the aegis of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) that has several senior doctors associated with it. BJS and PPCR will leverage this platform to design and facilitate the Covid training programmefor all the doctors at the district and sub-district levels. The BJS volunteers will encourage the doctors to undergo the same for strengthening the local healthcare system.
CAPACITY BUILDING OF HEALTH WORKERS - THE‘COVID COMMANDOES’Having additional, well-trained paramedical force to keep up with the anticipated rise in the number of Covid Care Centres and Covid hospitals/Covid wards is an emergent need. BJS will source and recruit healthcare staff to be designated as ‘Covid Commandoes’ (nurses, ASHA workers, compounders, hospital wardens etc), for this purpose. BJS has created a training programme to enhance the capacities of the Covid Commandoes. The BJS volunteers will facilitate the training sessions in their district.
COVID CONNECTWith the spike in the number of active cases, the cases of home isolation are proportionately rising. Under such circumstances, there is an immense lack of clarity on the measures that need to be taken by the patients and their families during home quarantine. The fear and the distress are also resulting in the people making a beeline for the hospital beds, though not required, thereby adding strain on the healthcare infrastructure. Barring the 5% patients out of the total who fall under the ‘critical category’, the rest 80% patients who are asymptomatic plus the 15% having mild symptoms can be treated through tele consultation or if need be, through home visits by the doctors. At present, there are several agencies that provide tele medicine/tele consultation services across Maharashtra. After studying the operating models of all these agencies, BJS has zeroed in on one to two agencies working with a focus on social welfare and keen on offering maximum benefits free of cost to the people even in the remote areas. The services of these agencies will now also be routed through the web portal “Covid Connect’ being developed by BJS to maximize their reach and benefits.
CORONA AWARENESS DRIVES
Discussion SeriesIn an attempt to dispel the myths and allay the misplaced fears in the mind of the common man around Covid-19, a series of talk shows with relevant personalities working in this field will be conducted and disseminated through various media channels. As a first step, a detailed inperson interview with the Hon. Health Minister of State Shri Rajesh Tope was conducted by the BJS Founder, Mr. Shantilal Muttha. The session was televised, broadcast on the radio and also streamed on social media platforms as a chat series and widely received by the people. The session was aimed at alleviating and addressing the various questions and concerns put forth by the public in relation to Covid-19. Similar chat sessions with health department functionaries, doctors, patients, and NGO personnel are in the pipeline in order to continuously engage with the people and curb the spread of misinformation.
Prachar RathRestraint or hesitation in undergoing antigen testing has been an observed phenomenon in the public that has led to serious repercussions because of late detection. For effecting behaviour change on this front, BJS has conceptualized the use of PracharRaths which are typically mobile vans/ jeeps moving around the testing centres and in the communities with an aim to encouraging the citizens for getting tested on time. Creative approaches of messaging through the use of songs, jingles and dramatized conversations are characteristic of these PracharRaths that have been attractively branded to promote antigen testing. They are serving as an effective medium for awareness generation.
Blood Donation Drive
Aims to fill the gaps and support the government to decrease scarcity of blood.
Establishment of 1000 beds quarantine Centre
BJS turned its Wagholi Educational Rehabilitation Centre (WERC) of Pune in a 1000 bed quarantine Centre and handed it over to the District Collector.
Doctor at your doorstep’ Mobile Dispensary Seva
Aims to provide health support to citizens with prime focus on early detection of COVID-19 patients and doorstep health assistance with free medicine distribution.
Setting up the COVID Care Centre
Setting up the 1000 bed capacity COVID Care Centre in Vimannagar, Pune.
Helped identify COVID-19 suspects in MCGM
BJS assisted Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai’s (MCGM) efforts in Dharavi by deploying 11 mobile dispensaries, conducted more than 80,000 health check-ups, distributed medicines and helped identify COVID-19 suspects.
Conducted over 2 lakh Antigen Tests, out of which 35,000 COVID-19 positive patients have been identified.
Helped identify COVID-19 suspects in MMC
BJS helped the Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC) to aggressively bring the situation in Malegaon under control and successfully flatten the curve within 2 months.
With its presence across length and breadth of the country, BJS today is truly a National Organization having its head-quarters at Pune.