The unsung heroes on the Covid-19 battlefield


[ Amar Sangno ]
ITANAGAR, Apr 6: In these days of the Covid-19 crisis, numerous unsung heroes have emerged in Arunachal, fighting voluntarily alongside the frontline workers like medical staffs, administrators and police personnel against the pandemic.
Some of them are distributing essential rations to daily wage earners and migrant labourers, while some are supplying personal protection equipment (PPE) such as facemasks and hand sanitizers – their morale not faltering for a moment.
In eastern Arunachal, the All Wancho Women Welfare Society (AWWWS) has volunteered to sew cloth masks.
“DC ma’am (Cheshta Yadav) approached us because she needed some volunteers, and fortunately, we had a good number of trained members,” said AWWWS general secretary Atha Wangsu.
She informed that the AWWWS has at least seven to eight members who have received training.
The deputy commissioner informed that the masks will be distributed to the anganwadi workers and ASHAs.
“We have just started off from Saturday. Eight volunteers have joined and 50 pieces have been produced so far,” Yadav said. In Namsai, young entrepreneur Chow Pintu Chowlik, of Kaisu village, has donated 100 pieces of homemade masks to the district administration. The masks were later distributed among the police and CRPF personnel.
“The shopkeepers started charging high rates for simple masks when the epidemic broke out. I saw that the frontline people did not have any mask. So I made them and gave them to the administration,” said Chowlik.
The Covid-19 crisis has exposed our healthcare service, and the frontline workers who are without PPE are literally on a suicide mission.
Seeing the wretched state of the medical staff, the police personnel and other essential services workers, Mohanto Panging, the proprietor of Pasighat (East Siang)-based Elam Industries, decided to start producing PPE and reusable facemasks for the frontline workers.
“First, we had made for our own factory’s workers, maintaining the safety protocols. So far we have already developed 30-40 thousand pieces of reusable cloth masks and supplied them to the district administration, the police, the army, and a few politicians,” said Panging.
He informed that his industry has distributed reusable facemasks to health service workers, essential service providers, and the sainik school.
He clarified, however, that the PPE developed by his industry are non-certified ones.
“If we have the resources, PPE can be manufactured in our own state. We don’t need to depend on Delhi and Guwahati,” Panging said, adding that there are only a few competent certification agencies in India.
Besides maintaining law and order, the district administrations of the state are managing the supply of essential commodities, which keeps them on their toes 24×7.
In Lower Subansiri HQ Ziro, the Apatani Youth Association (AYA), the Bamin-Michi Youth Association, BJP Yuva Morcha members, and the Hong farmers’ club have joined the initiative to home-deliver essential commodities.
In order to avoid unnecessary gathering, the district administration has launched an ‘essential service’ number, through which the consumers can place orders for their requirements.
EAC Bamin Tarang is coordinating the deliveries. The volunteers’ task is to deliver the commodities to the addresses provided by the consumers.
“Seeing the crisis, I registered myself as a volunteer for home delivery service, as many residents are facing essential commodities crisis. Instead of sitting idle at home, I thought I should volunteer. That way I can at least contribute my bit to the society,” said Tilling Yam, the president of the AYA’s women’s wing.
In the coming days, The Arunachal Times will publish more such stories of the unsung heroes whose noble acts of generosity and selflessness need to be made known.