Fighting COVID-19: BMC trains peer leaders for community awareness

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Bhubaneswar: In order to involve peer leaders of Socially Smart Project of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) as COVID Sachetak, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) organised a two-day long training at Saheed Nagar Kalyan Mandap. The training was provided by officials of BMC and doctors.

These peer leaders will form a part of the COVID Sachetak Committee and create awareness at the community level on COVID-19. They will move from door to door and talk to people about social distancing, hand hygiene, and aspects like symptoms of COVID, etc. They will also work to identify people with probable symptoms of COVID and inform the ZCO and other officials for further support. Through the initiative, BMC hopes to reach out to the people in slums to ensure that the virus spread is contained.

It is pertinent to point out that the peer leaders are a part of the Socially Smart Project which is a collaborative initiative of BMC, BSCL, and the United Nations Population Fund and has been operational since 2017.

The project focuses on young people and has trained over 120 young boys and girls in 3 phases of life skill education. These youths work in close collaboration with different stakeholders to address the issues and challenges of the slum with a focus on issues of young people. The project is currently being implemented at the level of 100 slums of Temple City.

Deepanjali Swain of Jagannath Basti Press Colony said after the training, it is a unique opportunity to play an active role to contain the spread of the virus at our community level in this pandemic situation. “People in our slums are not very careful and can be seen playing cards in groups. Many of them also do not use mask. We will form a group and move from house to house and create awareness of the various aspects of COVID-19. We are hopeful that we will be able to strengthen the efforts of the COVID Sachetak Committee that is working to create awareness on the issue,” she added.

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