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

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
India’s Coronavirus Warriors
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From WASH To COVID-19 And Menstrual Hygiene, Bhopal’s Alomati Ray Is A True Warrior Of ChangeSince 2019, Alomati has been actively working on improving the WASH status of the slum in Bhopal
  • 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.

Also Read: COVID Fighters: Meet Agnes, A Head Nurse From Mumbai Who Is Posted In A COVID-19 Dedicated Hospital

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.  


Coronavirus has spread to 193 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 17,66,30,634 and 38,22,022 have died; 5,80,25,717 are active cases and 11,47,82,895 have recovered as on June 16, 2021 at 3:30 am.


2,96,33,105 62,224Cases
2,83,88,100 1,07,628Recovered
3,79,573 2,542Deaths
In India, there are 2,96,33,105 confirmed cases including 3,79,573 deaths. The number of active cases is 8,65,432 and 2,83,88,100 have recovered as on June 16, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

59,24,773 7,652

1,41,440 8,982

56,69,179 15,176

1,14,154 1,458


27,77,010 5,041

1,62,303 9,859

25,81,559 14,785

33,148 115


27,48,204 12,246

1,12,792 1,456

26,23,904 13,536

11,508 166

Tamil Nadu

23,78,298 11,805

1,25,215 11,669

22,23,015 23,207

30,068 267

Andhra Pradesh

18,20,134 5,741

75,134 4,879

17,32,948 10,567

12,052 53

Uttar Pradesh

17,03,207 270

7,221 890

16,74,072 1,104

21,914 56

West Bengal

14,68,044 3,268

20,046 1,125

14,30,949 2,068

17,049 75


14,31,498 228

3,078 148

14,03,569 364

24,851 12


9,88,172 609

11,717 943

9,63,113 1,544

13,342 8


9,50,133 172

5,619 848

9,35,658 1,006

8,856 14


8,59,526 3,405

44,358 3,436

8,11,780 6,799

3,388 42


8,21,078 352

8,884 658

8,02,187 1,006

10,007 4

Madhya Pradesh

7,88,649 224

3,610 331

7,76,424 528

8,615 27


7,66,357 228

3,703 374

7,53,584 564

9,070 38


7,17,949 410

4,360 412

7,04,075 813

9,514 9


6,06,436 1,556

19,933 528

5,82,993 2,070

3,510 14


5,89,153 628

10,802 1,111

5,62,701 1,691

15,650 48


4,66,590 3,415

41,184 475

4,21,378 2,906

4,028 34


3,43,793 184

2,646 416

3,36,058 596

5,089 4


3,37,449 274

3,642 266

3,26,822 515

6,985 25

Jammu And Kashmir

3,08,726 715

12,407 1,125

2,92,114 1,830

4,205 10

Himachal Pradesh

1,99,197 321

4,050 382

1,91,737 691

3,410 12


1,63,048 327

4,175 231

1,55,926 548

2,947 10


1,13,192 355

4,668 279

1,06,828 629

1,696 5


61,200 40

486 21

59,917 58

797 3


61,096 785

8,744 301

51,354 476

998 8


60,385 536

4,886 65

54,870 596

629 5


42,759 450

4,430 99

37,579 542

750 7

Arunachal Pradesh

31,938 290

2,849 40

28,934 326

155 4


23,854 101

2,972 229

20,423 327

459 3


19,649 38

552 20

18,898 57

199 1


18,659 209

3,239 67

15,136 273

284 3


15,899 268

3,637 45

12,191 312

71 1

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,473 9

61 2

10,408 7



9,297 61

484 36

8,768 96

45 1

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,280 11

105 4

7,049 15


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