Over 850 NGOs are helping in COVID-19 fight

In its fight against COVID-19, the State government has gotten help from 859 NGOs and civil society groups and at least 14,000 volunteers. Fifty-five NGOs have partnered with the government to supply cooked food and food rations in Bengaluru and its periphery alone.

Apart from volunteers, who are also disseminating information and awareness along with distribution of food, nearly 1,000 “expert” volunteers have been deployed for activities that are commensurate with their skill sets, qualifications, and experience.

The work of the NGOs has been varied. While some are working directly with beneficiaries, many are working with government departments that are involved in relief work that include distribution of dry rations and prepared food.

So far, they have accounted for about 2.8 lakh cooked meals and about 1.69 lakh dry ration kits.

The committee for coordinating response from NGOs and corporates for COVID-19 related activities, which has received over 21,000 distress calls from across the State till now, has been diverting calls since April 16 to the BBMP or the district administration.

“The call could be for food by migrant labour or construction worker or students studying in Bengaluru who are in trouble. These issues would be flagged to government department and NGOs, which assist in resolving in the issue,” committee’s Chairman and Additional Chief Secretary (Energy) Mahendra Jain said.

Since the lockdown was announced nearly a month ago, the committee has received more than 3,000 distress calls from students, mainly from other states studying in Karnataka. Students from other parts of Karnataka studying in Bengaluru have also approached the committee with their problems. “Some students were in trouble with some landlords asking them to vacate or the paying guests accommodations that they stayed in closed, leaving them in a lurch. In many cases, students ran out of money. With the help of NGOs, they were identified and many were moved into government hostels,” Mr. Jain said.

Lots of help in kind

From providing biscuits and soaps to aid to prepare COVID-19 units, help has also been coming from the private sector in various forms, besides donations to relief fund.

While the Tata Group is helping convert C.V. Raman Nagar Hospital in Bengaluru into a COVID-19 isolation hospital, the University of Trans disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology and Bosch are providing a 100-bed hospital for COVID 19.

The Azim Premji Foundation is involved in relief work in 10 districts in Karnataka.

Among other relief materials that the State has received include, 50,000 bed sheets and pillow covers, 50,000 units of insulins, 64,000 biscuit packets, 11,000 litres of sanitisers, 15 lakh soaps, 5.65 lakh N-95 masks, 1.5 lakh 3-ply masks, 67,000 strips of peridol tablets, thermometers, air beds, wheel chairs, X ray viewer box, PPE kits, safety protection spectacles and hand gloves among many others.

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Printable version | May 25, 2022 6:23:27 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/over-850-ngos-are-helping-in-covid-19-fight/article31409595.ece