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Inspired By Frontline Workers, 22-year-old COVID Warrior From Odisha Joins The Fight Against COVID-19

22-year-old Gunasagar Sahu, fondly known as Ashish, from Sadanandpur village in Bargarh district of Odisha stepped OUT during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic to educate his community

Inspired By Frontline Workers, 22-year-old COVID Warrior From Odisha Joins The Fight Against COVID-19
Highlights
  • Ashish accompanied frontline workers in educating people about COVID
  • The COVID warrior also assisted in conducting door-to-door check-ups
  • Despite facing resistance, Ashish managed to visit 100 households

New Delhi: In May, when COVID-19 cases surged to 4 lakh cases a day, almost all states across the country reported this spike. Odisha, which was reporting just a few hundred cases in early April, soon started to log over 1,000 cases a day and in May, the number even crossed 12,000. The sudden growth in cases and people’s carelessness in following COVID appropriate behaviour, motivated 22-year-old Gunasagar Sahu, fondly known as Ashish, from Sadanandpur village in Bargarh district to stand up for his community.

Also Read: Meet 24-Year-Old Asma Khan Who Is Leading The Youth Of Madhya Pradesh To Rise Up To Meet The Challenges of COVID-19 Pandemic

Ashish volunteered to assist frontline workers such as the Anganwadi and ASHA workers to prevent the spread of COVID-19, by disseminating the right information and creating awareness. Talking about his idea behind working on the ground during the pandemic, Ashish said,

I could sense the urgency to reach people and impress upon them to stay indoors. We had to ensure that young children, who usually don’t show any symptoms of COVID-19, do not bring the disease home and infect the elderly, immunocompromised and other vulnerable members in the family. While this looked easy it was extremely complex. People were blatant about violating safety norms and creative in finding ways to beat lockdown guidelines by hosting weddings and visiting relatives.

Also Read: COVID Warrior From Bhopal Converts His Auto-Rickshaw Into Ambulance, Sells Wife’s Jewellery To Help People

The recklessness stemmed from the belief that COVID-19 is not a severe disease and something they will never get. Elaborating on the preformed notions of the villagers, Ashish said,

People would say that we never washed hands five or 10 times a day, nothing ever happened to us. Why do we need to wash our hands regularly now? Or they would say, bad germs are also important to make our immune system strong and not fall on its knees in case of mild flu. Similarly, they had misconceptions about vaccines and its effectiveness.

To bust these prevalent myths, Ashish along with ASHA and Anganwadi workers went door-to-door, counselling people and sharing information, education and communication (IEC) material including videos, photographs and write-ups. All to reinstate the fact that the only way to protect one from contracting the COVID-19 disease is to follow the rule of thumb that is to mask up, maintain social distance and wash or sanitise hands regularly.

Also Read: Salute The COVID Heroes Who Selflessly Helped India Fight COVID-19

Behavioural change doesn’t happen overnight. You have to knock on the same door twice, thrice, or until the person on the other side of the door gets ready to listen. You have to pester people and that’s exactly what we did despite facing extreme responses – from fear to panic to people slamming the door on our face. The one thing that kept me going was our frontline workers who travelled 10-20 kms every day to educate people even when villagers turned a blind eye, said Ashish.

The COVID warrior also assisted in conducting door-to-door checks to monitor people showing symptoms of COVID-19, and conducted follow-up checks with patients to monitor their recovery. As of today, he has visited around 100 households. Ashish is one of the young COVID warriors recognised by YuWaah, a multi-stakeholder platform formed by UNICEF, for bringing the change and the leadership role played during the pandemic.

Talking to NDTV about Ashish’s initiative, Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief, Generation Unlimited (YuWaah), Youth Development & Partnerships, UNICEF, said,

It is deeply heartening and inspiring watching young people like Ashish emerge as champions and take charge to lead the country out of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis. This reinstates that if young people are provided with information, skills and platform and are included in important civic decisions and actions, the outcome can be phenomenal.

Also Read: Amitabh Bachchan Salutes The COVID Heroes And Says Vaccine Hesitancy Must End

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

22,95,44,435Cases
19,20,52,504Active
3,27,83,741Recovered
47,08,190Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,95,44,435 and 47,08,190 have died; 19,20,52,504 are active cases and 3,27,83,741 have recovered as on September 22, 2021 at 3:49 am.

India

3,35,31,498 26,964Cases
3,01,9897,586Active
3,27,83,741 34,167Recovered
4,45,768 383Deaths
In India, there are 3,35,31,498 confirmed cases including 4,45,768 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,01,989 and 3,27,83,741 have recovered as on September 22, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,27,629 3,131

44,269 960

63,44,744 4,021

1,38,616 70

Kerala

45,39,926 15,768

1,61,765 5,813

43,54,264 21,367

23,897 214

Karnataka

29,69,361 818

13,769 617

29,17,944 1,414

37,648 21

Tamil Nadu

26,48,688 1,647

16,993 9

25,96,316 1,619

35,379 19

Andhra Pradesh

20,40,708 1,179

13,905 483

20,12,714 1,651

14,089 11

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,693 13

194 0

16,86,612 13

22,887

West Bengal

15,62,710 537

7,741 69

15,36,291 592

18,678 14

Delhi

14,38,556 39

400 21

14,13,071 18

25,085

Odisha

10,21,216 462

4,844 103

10,08,226 560

8,146 5

Chhattisgarh

10,05,120 26

297 0

9,91,260 26

13,563

Rajasthan

9,54,275 12

99 8

9,45,222 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,751 14

133 0

8,15,536 14

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,410 8

90 6

7,81,803 14

10,517

Haryana

7,70,754 8

328 12

7,60,618 20

9,808

Bihar

7,25,907 6

60 9

7,16,188 15

9,659

Telangana

6,63,906 244

4,938 53

6,55,061 296

3,907 1

Punjab

6,01,359 36

304 3

5,84,554 37

16,501 2

Assam

5,98,864 441

5,081 97

5,87,970 338

5,813 6

Jharkhand

3,48,139 14

65 10

3,42,941 4

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,405 12

249 18

3,35,765 29

7,391 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,28,214 145

1,450 11

3,22,345 154

4,419 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,17,403 263

1,715 99

2,12,033 162

3,655 2

Goa

1,75,690 107

886 76

1,71,507 29

3,297 2

Puducherry

1,25,618 101

922 55

1,22,864 46

1,832

Manipur

1,18,870 197

2,174 9

1,14,861 203

1,835 3

Tripura

83,956 51

353 7

82,794 44

809

Mizoram

82,815 1,355

15,363 223

67,184 1,127

268 5

Meghalaya

79,817 150

1,878 18

76,558 167

1,381 1

Chandigarh

65,195 7

44 3

64,333 4

818

Arunachal Pradesh

54,190 64

413 3

53,504 60

273 1

Sikkim

31,014 43

627 27

30,007 70

380

Nagaland

30,959 52

470 3

29,832 46

657 3

Ladakh

20,743 6

144 6

20,392

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

0 0

10,666

4

Lakshadweep

10,360 1

9 1

10,300

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,607 7

17 4

7,461 3

129

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