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From WASH To COVID-19 And Menstrual Hygiene, Bhopal’s Alomati Ray Is A True Warrior Of Change

Alomati Ray, a resident of Jatkhedi slum in Ward 53 of Bhopal, has emerged as a warrior of change by helping her community with access to toilets, educating them about the coronavirus as well as providing menstrual hygiene products during the lockdown

From WASH To COVID-19 And Menstrual Hygiene, Bhopal’s Alomati Ray Is A True Warrior Of Change
Highlights
  • Alomati helped her community members access toilets
  • She raised awareness about COVID-19 precautions in her slum
  • She helped the girls of her community to access menstrual hygiene products

New Delhi: Along with a public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it hunger, loss of employment, lack of accessibility to essential commodities and serious concerns regarding health and hygiene. At such a difficult time, there are some people rising selflessly to lead the fightback from their communities. One such person is Alomati Ray, a resident of Jatkhedi slum in Ward 53 of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh; who emerged as a woman community leader and contributed to the development of her slum.

Jatkhedi slum is located at the periphery of BHOPAL and is inhabited largely by migrant and construction labourers, with 230 households in total. WaterAid India is leading a project for safe water, functional toilets and good hygiene for communities and schools in Bhopal, and the organisation appreciated Alomati’s work. A spokesperson from the organisation told NDTV,

Alomati’s work as a community leader began in the year 2019, when, after mobilisation by WaterAid India and its partner Aarambh NGO, a women’s group was formed and she was selected as president of the group. She participated in different training and orientation programmes organised during the project and built her capacities around water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

Alomati’s work as a community leader began in the year 2019,

Alomati’s work as a community leader began in the year 2019

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Since 2019, Alomati has been actively working on improving the WASH status of the slum, the spokesperson added and explained,

Understanding the importance of sanitation, she identified those households that were unable to avail any toilet facility provided by the Swachh Bharat Mission and shared her list with the municipal corporation, advocating for their inclusion. She has also been motivating these households to build low-cost toilets without waiting for government subsidies for the sake of their health. Furthermore, Alomati advocated for the construction of an accessible toilet for a family with a differently-abled member.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, she worked proactively with WaterAid India and Aarambh, along with the team from the Bhopal Municipal Corporation to create awareness, provide relief material, and prevent further spread of the virus.

The pandemic demands strict adherence to hygienic behaviour, in order to save lives. Along with other members of the group, Alomati motivated the community to follow hygiene practices. She got herself oriented on the different facets of COVID-19 through the videos and (Information, Education and Communication) IEC materials provided under an eight-day project campaign on hygiene awareness.

Under this COVID-19 awareness campaign, Alomati circulated information to all the community members of her slum and surrounding areas through social media like WhatsApp, one-to-one meetings, and by organising small meetings; all the while ensuring social distancing. She pasted handmade posters and wrote awareness slogans at all the community points of the slum. She also provided her support to Anganwadi workers and other health frontline workers conducting surveys for identification of suspected COVID-19 patients by motivating the community to provide the correct information, the WaterAid India spokesperson explained.

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Initially, the children and men of the community used to gather in groups and not adhere to social distancing, however, she educated them and ensured that lockdown and social distancing were followed in the slum.

The water points were also regularly disinfected to avoid any possible infection. The group members have limited entry and exit of the slum dwellers to prevent the spread of the virus. To ensure that the community does not come in contact with anyone infected, engagement with non-residents was kept to a minimal.

Furthermore, Alomati played an important role in helping with her community members’ need for essential items during the lockdown.
Immediately after the lockdown was imposed, she got in touch with the ward councillor, BMC officials, and other organisations. Alomati regularly and successfully coordinated with them to arrange food and dry rations for almost fifty marginalised and needy families living in her slum.

In addition to providing rations and meals, she enthused a charitable local businessman and facilitated the distribution of Rs 200 to all the households in the slum. In all these initiatives, she ensured that disabled people, single parents, orphans, senior citizens and other such vulnerable groups were given priority. She made sure that these processes were implemented while maintaining social distance among other precautions, WaterAid India spokesperson told NDTV.

Also Read: COVID Fighters: On Duty for 160 Days, Mumbai’s Dr Mehul Shah Shares How His Team Is Fighting The Pandemic From The Frontline

During the lockdown, women and adolescent girls of her slum facED a scarcity of sanitary pads. Alomati, with support from WaterAid and Aarambh, facilitated the supply of sanitary pads from a local charity firm, informed the spokesperson.

From WASH To COVID-19 And Menstrual Hygiene, Bhopal’s Alomati Ray Is A True Warrior Of Change

Alomati Ray also participated in the digital campaign organised on Menstrual Hygiene Day (Image Courtesy: WaterAid India)

She also participated in the digital campaign organised on Menstrual Hygiene Day (May 29) and shared the awareness video with adolescent girls and women of the slum.

The campaign focused on safe ways that cotton cloth pads could be used as alternate pads during the supply crisis, to have access to menstrual hygiene management during the lockdown.

Warriors like Alomati, who are constantly working towards improving the lives of the marginalised, are an asset to any community. For all her effort during this pandemic, she is the prime reason that when surrounding areas of the slums are becoming hotspots’ and ‘containment zones’ in Bhopal, Jatkhedi slum has been free of the deadly coronavirus, the WaterAid India spokesperson signed off.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.  

World

24,50,12,529Cases
20,64,25,824Active
3,36,14,434Recovered
49,72,271Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,50,12,529 and 49,72,271 have died; 20,64,25,824 are active cases and 3,36,14,434 have recovered as on October 28, 2021 at 4:00 am.

India

3,42,31,809 16,156Cases
1,60,9891,672Active
3,36,14,434 17,095Recovered
4,56,386 733Deaths
In India, there are 3,42,31,809 confirmed cases including 4,56,386 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,60,989 and 3,36,14,434 have recovered as on October 28, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,06,536 1,485

23,096 3,500

64,43,342 4,947

1,40,098 38

Kerala

49,38,603 9,445

77,158 2,100

48,31,468 6,723

29,977 622

Karnataka

29,86,835 282

8,459 80

29,40,339 349

38,037 13

Tamil Nadu

26,98,493 1,075

12,288 252

26,50,145 1,315

36,060 12

Andhra Pradesh

20,64,854 567

4,777 122

20,45,713 437

14,364 8

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,114 13

100 6

16,87,115 7

22,899

West Bengal

15,89,042 976

7,973 124

15,61,973 837

19,096 15

Delhi

14,39,709 38

348 25

14,14,270 13

25,091

Odisha

10,39,818 549

4,392 213

10,27,108 334

8,318 2

Chhattisgarh

10,05,926 28

263 14

9,92,088 12

13,575 2

Rajasthan

9,54,411 4

20 0

9,45,437 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,481 17

173 2

8,16,220 15

10,088

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,804 20

108 9

7,82,172 10

10,524 1

Haryana

7,71,204 15

133 5

7,61,022 10

10,049

Bihar

7,26,073 5

41 1

7,16,371 4

9,661

Telangana

6,70,829 186

4,164 63

6,62,714 122

3,951 1

Assam

6,09,506 244

3,838 153

5,99,681 391

5,987 6

Punjab

6,02,289 38

246 20

5,85,487 16

16,556 2

Jharkhand

3,48,705 28

160 30

3,43,408 56

5,137 2

Uttarakhand

3,43,861 17

150 6

3,36,312 23

7,399

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,865 70

838 16

3,26,596 86

4,431

Himachal Pradesh

2,23,406 261

1,972 211

2,17,693 48

3,741 2

Goa

1,77,969 23

454 29

1,74,152 51

3,363 1

Puducherry

1,27,846 40

443 10

1,25,546 50

1,857

Manipur

1,23,473 70

844 29

1,20,712 97

1,917 2

Mizoram

1,19,496 547

7,320 446

1,11,752 991

424 2

Tripura

84,438 15

123 1

83,499 14

816

Meghalaya

83,466 51

507 22

81,511 71

1,448 2

Chandigarh

65,331 5

29 2

64,482 3

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,120 6

115 22

54,725 28

280

Sikkim

31,925 13

177 1

31,353 12

395

Nagaland

31,759 12

222 3

30,856 15

681

Ladakh

20,925 8

47 6

20,670 2

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,682 1

6 0

10,672 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,650 2

5 1

7,516 1

129

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