Kathakali Dutta is a second semester student of the Master of Communication and Journalism (Integrated) programme at the School of Mass Communication, KIIT Deemed University, Bhubaneswar.
A group of youngsters in Assam's Silchar have come forward to deliver essentials to the people at their doorstep amid the COVID-19 induced lockdown that has put restrictions on the movement.
Eco Alarmist, a team of nature enthusiasts who primarily work on creating awareness on sustainable methods and climate change, decided to take a step forward in strengthening the state's fight against the virus. The group diverted from their usual environmental niche and partnered with a local logistics firm "Drutoo" to deliver food and other materials.
The team is ensuring that COVID-infected patients do not have to step out or face the hassle for procuring food and medicines, all the essentials can get home-delivered for free. The patients can visit their website or call their helpline number and send a list of the required items along with an image of their COVID positive report. The patients can also mention their preferred shops from where they would want to buy the products.
Since the district is under lockdown, the team has extended this service to people who are not infected with COVID but would want to avoid stepping out. There is, however, a fee involved for the delivery. A "pick-up" feature where people can ask them to pick up certain commodities/food from somewhere/someone has also been added to the host of services.
On noticing a severe lack of COVID-related information, the group took it upon themselves to provide the necessary information to the people residing in the northeastern states of Assam, Tripura, and Manipur.
To serve the purpose, Eco Alarmist has enabled its website to furnish COVID relief information and has also maintained a repository of important contact numbers.
Information on medical supplies like oxygen, hospital bed availability, contact numbers of doctors and ambulances, RT-PCR test facilities, and medicines has been made available. The website www.ecoalarmist.com has access to more than 300 verified numbers for the COVID essential services, depending on their state and city/town. The 'COVID Protocol' section consists of all the necessary information on precautionary measures, guidelines of home isolation, etc.
The group has also started an initiative called "Blood Before Vaccination" urging people from Barak Valley to donate blood before getting vaccinated. This is because one cannot donate blood for at least 28 days after getting vaccinated.
"The large-scale vaccination will result in a considerable decrease in the number of blood donors but the requirement of blood in hospitals will remain same, therefore we are maintaining a database and connecting as many people as possible with a blood bank to compensate for the next few months," 20-year-old Subhadeep Purkayastha, the founder of Eco Alarmist told The Logical Indian.
Last year, during the first phase of the pandemic as well, team Eco Alarmist had launched a COVID-19 donation drive where they fed 1500 daily-wage workers' families and donated clothes, sanitation kits, and meal kits in the rural outskirts of Silchar.
Subhadeep, who was barely 16 when he started this group, has been selected as 'Ashoka Young Changemaker, 2021'. He, along with his team, has carried out many projects including plantation of around 200 saplings on World Environment Day, 2019; donation drive for helping flood victims where meal kits were provided to around 100 families; a campaign for the reduced usage of tissues in restaurants; well projects in water-deprived rural areas around Silchar and several other donation drives to engage the community and the corporates to protect the environment.
"I had started Eco Alarmist with an aim to change how people perceive environmental protection and make it lucid to help people understand and contribute through their everyday actions," said Subhadeep.
Speaking on the future course of action, the team is planning to secure a verified list of COVID-19 helpline numbers from all the North-Eastern states of India. Working closely for the rural sector which is particularly being affected now, Subhadeep has affirmed that they will soon avail COVID essentials like masks, sanitisers, oxymeters, etc. along with meal kits and medicines for the people residing in the far-flung areas.
Thank you for subscribing.
We have sent you a confirmation email.