In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many citizens across the country have come forward to raise funds for COVID-19 relief. In a unique initiative in Kerala's Idukki district, a bunch of young volunteers have come together to assemble and sell LED bulbs to raise funds for the Chief Minister's relief fund.
A brainchild of the Kerala State Youth Welfare Board (KSYWB) officials, the initiative not only aims to raise funds but also impart long-term skill-building exercise for the youth. An autonomous body incorporated under the auspice of Government of Kerala, KSYWB coordinate the youth welfare and development activities.
The organisation trains the youngsters in bulb-making and all the required raw materials are procured from nearby states. Expenses for the food and travel of the volunteers are also taken care of. In the last five days, nearly 10 volunteers in Thodupuzha town made around 600 9W-bulbs as part of the first phase of the project, reported The Indian Express.
"In the wake of the 2018 floods, we had raised an army of volunteers known as the Kerala Voluntary Youth Action Force (KVYAF) mainly to provide support and relief during emergency situations. Around 1600 volunteers at the state-level were selected and given extensive training in disaster management, first aid, motivation and martial arts like karate. Over the last three months, many of these volunteers have been working day and night in cleaning activities, community kitchens, supplying essential medicines and at COVID care centres," VS Bindu, district programme officer of the KSYWB, was quoted by the media.
"We drew some of these volunteers into the LED bulb-making unit because the training could help them earn a livelihood in the long-run," she added.
She further said that while currently, they are selling bulbs to raise funds for COVID-19 relief, they plan to set up a production unit in the future.
"We had a half-day training class on how to make the bulbs. Since I have some experience and interest in electrical work, it was easy for me. It's very rewarding," said 21-year-old Jithu, one of the volunteers.
While the project is in pilot mode in Idukki district, it will be replicated in other districts if successful. The district is targeting to make 5,000 bulbs at a cost of around Rs 100 per bulb. The volunteers hope to raise Rs 5 lakh through the initiative.Also Read: Punjab: Farmers, Administration Are Ensuring Migrant Workers Working In Fields Stay Healthy In Barnala