- UP'S Firozabad gets serious with people to wear masks
- People defying COVID guidelines will be made to attend ‘mask ki class’
- Coronavirus violators will have to write ‘mask lagaana hai’ 500 times
New Delhi: What a fine of Rs. 500 could not achieve, the back to classroom initiative hopes for better results. In Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad people continue to venture out without wearing a face mask or face cover even as COVID-19 cases continue to increase. Now the Firozabad district administration has decided to school the defaulters, literally. They have come up with a unique ‘mask ki class’, which the violators have to attend to learn. The syllabus includes the importance of face mask, how to use it, what kind of mask to use, among other topics. Along with this, people found guilty will be made to write ‘mask lagaana hai’ (a mask has to be worn) 500 times.
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Talking to NDTV about the initiative Chandra Vijay Singh, District Magistrate, Firozabad, said,
There are two reasons behind coming up with this school kind of punishment. Firstly, there are people who when found without a mask simply offer to pay fine. But our idea is not to collect fine from people rather make them understand the role of face mask in the fight against Coronavirus pandemic. Secondly, not everyone especially labour class can pay fine. In fact, we need to educate them in this time of crisis. Hence, we are resorting to this approach.
Firozabad district administration has two dedicated ‘COVID-19 Public Awareness Centre’ where violators are taken and made to take a three to four hours class dedicated to face masks.
As per the information shared by Mr Singh, each awareness center has a police official, doctor and an official from the district administration. In the class, the violators are first shown a video telling them about the need and benefits of wearing a mask. It is then followed by a session with medical experts.
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We are using two inter-colleges as COVID awareness centers. The walls have been covered with large banners detailing out the dos and don’ts and coronavirus guidelines which majorly include coughing etiquettes, hand hygiene, social distancing, among other things, said Mr Singh.
Mr Singh informed that the police personnel have been instructed to take every individual failing to comply with the guidelines to ‘mask ki class’ and provide exhaustive details to them.
Talking about the impact of the initiative, Mr Singh said,
We have just started it so can’t assess the results but I’m sure a person who happens to come here once would not like to repeat his/her mistake. People who loiter unnecessarily will learn a lesson after they are made to spend three to four hours in a room and attend a class.
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Impact Of Coronavirus In Firozabad
Firozabad, a district with a population of 24.98 lakh (Census 2011) has so far seen close to 600 cases by July 19. The recovery rate of 85.7 per cent is better than the state’s current recovery rate of 60.26 per cent. The fatality rate in the district is 6.18 per cent which is over the all India fatality rate of 2.43 per cent.
Agra, which is one of the worst-affected districts of Uttar Pradesh, is close to Firozabad. Now, since we are unlocking and the movement has been allowed, we are seeing a rise in Coronavirus cases but it’s still under control, said Mr Singh.
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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 (Water, Sanitation 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 pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.