Project Co-Ira reaching out beyond call of duty
Dimapur, Aug. 15 (EMN): The coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown left Nagaland struggling, leaving almost half the population, especially the marginalised groups, with no source of income and the other half in need of medical facilities, emotional support, and guidance to name a few.
However, these difficult times have also been an occasion for people from all walks of life to take it as an opportunity to help those in need selflessly and “Project Co-Ira” by CAN Youth was no different in extending help to those in distress.
Project Co-Ira (Covid- Information, Response, Action), an initiative of Dimapur based NGO Can Youth, aimed to provide information and spread awareness for maintaining healthcare on Covid-19 and to provide legal support to the communities. With this aim and objective, the project was launched during the second wave on July 9, 2021 in collaboration with district administration, Dimapur Municipal Council, KAL group and Dimapur Traffic police.
Speaking about the vision behind the initiative with Eastern Mirror, CAN Youth chief functionary Jenpu Rongmei said, “Covid-19 pandemic has immensely affected our daily lives, like losing jobs and economic crises, mental and emotional disturbance, losing hope and other various negative impacts. The most affected are those people who are living in difficult circumstances and marginalised sections of the society especially the migrant workers, daily wagers, differently-able people and widows”.
Taking into account the overall probleme marginalised people were going through, the organisation set up Covid information tool booth, medical and legal aid tool booth in order to provide assistance. The installation of those booths were set up at five different locations in Dimapur — Burma Camp police point, Supermarket, Khermahal junction, New Market and Clock Tower.
Rongmei admitted that although the tool booths were not 100% successful as they had expected, it served 75% of their purpose with people dropping in to know and learn more on the use of oximeter, thermometer and thermal scanner, through which they realised that there was a large section of people who were yet to know about its availability and usages. The information tool booth also provided assistance with sanitisers, face masks, nutrition, medial first aid and oximeter.
He said the legal aid tool booth was set up considering the high rate of domestic abuses during the lockdown and to create awareness among the people especially labourers and women on the rights available for them. However, he said no one came to avail the services, although those people who dropped in came to know that there was free legal services available for those in need.
“Project Co-Ira has taken various forms of actions to fight against the coronavirus. At first, CAN Youth provided Covid safety equipment at various Primary Health Centre’s (PHC) such as Duncan Bosti PHC, Kuhuboto PHC, Burma Camp UPHC and Dhasiripar Community Health Centre. The equipment included PPE kit, sanitiser, surgical gloves, pulse oximeters, face masks and medicines to name a few.
The organisation had also distributed Covid safety equipment to the Asha workers, Anganwadi workers and community youth volunteers of Neisatuo colony, Darogajan village, Burma Camp and seven villages under Dhansiripar sub-division. It included sanitisers, N95 masks, pulse oximeters, PPE kit and pamphlets on Covid precautionary measures, myths and facts, which were distributed in the community for awareness and preventive measures”.
Prior to setting up of the tool booths and launching of the project, the volunteers of CAN Youth were trained by the CMO’s office Dimapur virtually, he noted.
The organisation also provided essential commodities to migrant workers, daily wage earners, differently-able persons, widows, farmers and individuals who were facing financial constraint to meet their basic needs. The organisation reached out at Manglamukh, Ganeshnagar, Hazadisa, Doyapur, Disaguphu under Dhansiripar sub-division, Darogajan village and Mon district in collaboration with the district administration. Rongmei said the places for the outreach were identified based on a pre-assessment of the area, which needed genuine assistance.
Through the “Project Co-Ira”, the group reached out to CMO Dimapur’s medical staff, Covid data entry staff and police who were engaged at the railway station in providing assistance to the people by Covid testing and data analysis.
‘This was possible through the support and continued assistance from IDeA-The ANT, Goonj, Azim Premji Foundation, KAL group, Dimapur Municipal Council Prodigals Home, Catalyst2030, Excel Greentech Pvt Ltd, Brizz Medical (Panaji Goa), Crypto Relief, ComMutiny The Youth Collective (Delhi), district administration Mon, Dimapur Traffic Police, The Pack Sketch, Equality Group, individuals and well-wishers,’ Rongmei acknowledged.
During the Covid-19 scenario, Project Co-Ira had conducted special programmes for children and adolescents to build their mental and physical health by providing the study materials – activity workbook on Covid precautionary steps as children were the silent victims of the pandemic. Project Co-IRA hasn’t ended and they will continue to provide assistance to the community during this pandemic.
Rongmei said there was ‘no contentment than helping those in need’ especially during such trying times. “These difficult times have seen many benevolent givers as there was always someone out there trying to help those in need and the Project Co-Ira was no different,” he acknowledged.