As the world grapples with COVID -19, multi-stakeholder partnerships are being forged to mitigate the risks emerged due to the pandemic. In one such instance, Rio Tinto joined hands with Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India to support frontline COVID warriors of Gurugram district, Haryana.
The initiative kick started today from Civil Hospital, Sohna Gurugram with the distribution of 200 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits to healthcare workers. In the course of one week, 2,600 such kits will be distributed to healthcare and sanitation workers. The initiative will also address the safety needs of family members of the health and sanitation workers. Each of their households and their locality will be sanitised on a weekly basis.
Besides this, a comprehensive awareness campaign will be launched. This will involve distribution of IEC material (pamphlets, leaflets) on Dos and Don’ts during the pandemic; wall paintings; awareness film screenings; trainings on using Aarogya Setu app; Q and A sessions. Common areas such as, hand-pumps, grocery shops will be marked with circles to ensure social distancing.
Community, village and block level committees will be formed consisting Sarpanch, teacher, ANM/ASHA health worker and youth leader to monitor and ensure that community members adhere to the information disseminated through various mediums. These committees will also be responsible to report any violation of norms, domestic violence and abuse. The project will also enable community workers access various government schemes.
“This program is part of an integrated effort by Rio Tinto to support the local community. Frontline healthcare and sanitation workers put themselves at risk as the first line of defence against the pandemic. This intervention will safeguard the workers, their families and communities with protective and preventive measures. I’m thankful to our partners, CAF India and Sakshi, for addressing this issue,” said Vikram Merchant, Country Head, Rio Tinto.
Elaborating further on the need of more such initiatives, Meenakshi Batra, CEO CAF India said, “India is one of the most densely populated countries of the world and containing a pandemic like COVID-19 here, becomes even more challenging. We had one of the largest, longest and earliest lockdowns in India — it helped in controlling the spread but we still could not manage to break the chain. The demand for protective equipments, ventilators and testing kits continues to be high and we need to stand with the government and provide all the help we can. I am thankful to Rio Tinto for supporting the initiative and our NGO partner, Sakshi for implementing it.”
Talking about the awareness drive, Mridula Tandon, President and Zuber Khan, Director, Sakshi said: “Families of frontline workers need to be kept safe too. For this, awareness generation will play a very important role. Importance of wearing masks, good hand hygiene and social distancing needs to be reinforced among communities over and over again. We are thankful to Rio Tinto and CAF India for supporting us and giving us a chance to help these at-risk communities.”