Dungarpur villagers raise funds to distribute essentials to tackle COVID-19

Udaipur : While most of the people not only in villages but urban areas, are dependent on the government machinery for steps to tackle the pandemic, residents in a small gram  panchayat in Dungarpur took self initiated steps to tackle the situation. Dungarpur Zila Parishad CEO Anjali Rajoria said when the district was recently reeling under the severity of the second wave of the pandemic, the district administration had embarked on  special campaigns for door  to door surveys, identification of patients and distribution of medical kits. Some of the villages depicted extreme awareness in fighting the problem and Saroda Panchayat Samiti is one of them.

The panchayat samiti is located some 60kms from the district headquarters and 16 kilometers away from the Sagwada subdivision. Block Development  officer Sunil Shah said three villages that fall in the panchayat  samiti are Saroda, Damorwada and Kesarpura and the total  population is 7723. ” We all were tense when all of a sudden 82  persons  were tested positive for the virus and there was a serious threat of more people falling ill. Before waiting for the district administration to impose prohibitory orders,the gram panchayat held an emergency meeting and we announced a complete lockdown of 15 days even before the state’s Jan Anushasan Pakhwada was called” Sarpanch  Pannalal Dodiyar informed. The entire area  was sanitised.

“The complete lockdown was adhered to by the villagers  seriously  and shops, establishments were completely shut down from 3 to 17 May” Upsarpanch  Praveen Pandya said. The most commendable initiative was taken by the village  youths who made  a whatsapp group called ‘Sathi’ and raised  funds through  donations. The money was used to purchase steam  machines, sanitisers, masks, gloves and oximeters that were distributed to all the infected patients. Five committees of ward panchs were formed who were responsible for contact tracing and getting their sampling done at the hospital. Every Monday massive sampling was held at the CHC here.

The core committees visited homes to take feedback from villagers on their health conditions. A panchayat helpline center was set up where people  could  approach  for all kinds of COVID related assistance. When people required medical  kits, the help center would facilitate home delivery of the same. The Sathi team distributed masks, medicines, ayurvedic kadha to homes from the money they raised through crowdfunding. A whopping amount of 1 lakh 21 thousand rupees had been collected within a short span and the youth volunteers ensured every single paisa was spent in  extending relief to distressed villagers. Social functions and gatherings were completely prohibited as panch committees spread words of caution to stay alert until the pandemic is defeated completely. 

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