‘Need to strengthen ward DETER committees ahead of third wave’

Amidst fears that the third wave of COVID-19 may be imminent, a panel of citizen volunteers and ward nodal officers have suggested decentralisation to fight the virus effectively.

Strengthening ward Decentralised Triage and Emergency Response (DETER) committees, is the way ahead, they argued. They were speaking at an online event ‘Lessons from Ward DETER Committees’, organised by the Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy as part of its city politics series on Saturday.

“The biggest success we witnessed in the ward DETER committee of Gottigere was team organisation. Be it volunteers, resources or technology, mobilisation was easy due to the decentralised model. We had 80 volunteers who were divided into eight teams. They helped in tele-triaging and counselling COVID-19 patients. We had real-time tracking in the ward war room,” said V.K. Ramamani, nodal officer, ward 194-Gottigere and Deputy Commissioner (IT), BBMP. The Information and Communication team used pictures, videos and other creative messaging techniques to share guidelines, protocols, and advisories.

In Ganganagar, the WDC not only focused on patients, but also those facing mental health issues due to the challenges brought forth by the pandemic, said Girisha Shankar, WDC member, ward 20, Ganganagar.

In Mahadevapura, while nearly 7,000 citizens came forward to volunteer over the last 18 months, the entire initiative was structured through the WDC, said Jagadish Reddy, from Varthur ward. “We need 198 ward committees fully functional. That is the only way the next wave or any other civic issue or disaster can be efficiently addressed. It doesn’t stop with just setting it up, but empowering it with technology, capacities, and full administrative support to truly make it a decentralised platform for local governance and citizen engagement,” said Sapna Karim, Head, Civic Participation at Janaagraha.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 10:29:28 AM |

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