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India’s Coronavirus Warriors

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

हिन्दी में पढ़े
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

24,06,78,961Cases
20,23,40,977Active
3,34,39,331Recovered
48,98,653Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,06,78,961 and 48,98,653 have died; 20,23,40,977 are active cases and 3,34,39,331 have recovered as on October 18, 2021 at 4:17 am.

India

3,40,81,315 13,596Cases
1,89,6946,152Active
3,34,39,331 19,582Recovered
4,52,290 166Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,81,315 confirmed cases including 4,52,290 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,89,694 and 3,34,39,331 have recovered as on October 18, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,91,697 1,715

32,230 994

64,19,678 2,680

1,39,789 29

Kerala

48,54,321 7,555

88,186 3,292

47,39,270 10,773

26,865 74

Karnataka

29,83,459 326

9,479 58

29,36,039 380

37,941 4

Tamil Nadu

26,87,092 1,218

14,814 208

26,36,379 1,411

35,899 15

Andhra Pradesh

20,60,472 432

6,034 159

20,40,131 586

14,307 5

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,028 9

119 10

16,87,011 19

22,898

West Bengal

15,80,530 624

7,421 24

15,54,132 634

18,977 14

Delhi

14,39,390 32

320 6

14,13,981 38

25,089

Odisha

10,35,077 443

4,542 68

10,22,250 508

8,285 3

Chhattisgarh

10,05,654 16

183 2

9,91,901 14

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,390 2

42 2

9,45,394 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,290 10

207 6

8,15,997 16

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,684 5

84 12

7,82,077 17

10,523

Haryana

7,71,076 15

123 9

7,60,904 6

10,049

Bihar

7,26,026 5

48 4

7,16,317 1

9,661

Telangana

6,68,955 122

3,924 55

6,61,093 176

3,938 1

Assam

6,06,468 205

3,436 46

5,97,082 245

5,950 6

Punjab

6,02,035 27

227 8

5,85,264 16

16,544 3

Jharkhand

3,48,430 7

122 1

3,43,173 8

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,756 9

178 1

3,36,181 8

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,062 95

843 12

3,25,793 107

4,426

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,437 131

1,303 5

2,16,414 125

3,720 1

Goa

1,77,522 60

604 6

1,73,572 62

3,346 4

Puducherry

1,27,396 52

585 13

1,24,961 64

1,850 1

Manipur

1,22,737 104

1,422 0

1,19,418 102

1,897 2

Mizoram

1,12,848 249

11,633 1,143

1,00,829 1,389

386 3

Tripura

84,321 16

104 4

83,401 12

816

Meghalaya

82,953 55

845 32

80,673 86

1,435 1

Chandigarh

65,302 3

25 3

64,457 6

820

Arunachal Pradesh

54,987 7

140 30

54,567 37

280

Sikkim

31,749 4

174 8

31,184 12

391

Nagaland

31,611 40

248 12

30,689 28

674

Ladakh

20,878 2

36 10

20,634 12

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,676 1

4 1

10,668

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,641

9 0

7,503

129

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