SHG members playing key role to fight COVID-19 in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Around 70 lakh women members of six lakh Mission Shakti Help groups in Odisha have been playing key role in State Government’s effort to contain Coronavirus, Sujata R Karthikeyan, the director of Mission Shakti said on Monday.

Briefing the media here, Karthikeyan said, the Women Self Help Group (WSHG) members have been devoting their time in generating awareness, supplying essential commodities, cooking meals for needy persons and even making masks every day.

From early March, the SHG members were assigned the responsibility of creating awareness on COVID-19 at the community level. They took only three days to circulate the pamphlets on how to combat Coronavirus in the state, she said.

They carried the chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s pledge of ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ at the doorsteps of people across the state.

The women also made the rural people understand in simple language that it is not impossible to defeat coronavirus if they stay home and break the transmission chain, Karthikeyan added.

Seeing the public demand for masks, the SHG members have made 12 lakhs masks and sold to government institutions, private bodies, hospitals etc at very reasonable costs and in some cases free of cost, the official said adding that the members will continue to make masks for the people of the state.

The SHG members also supplied groceries and vegetables during the lockdown period.

Several SHG have set up dry ration, vegetables and fruit shops across the state with the help of the district administration, she added.

They are also carrying out home delivery services for providing ration in many urban centres like Berhampur, Cuttack, Kendrapara and Koraput.

The SHG members have also been involved in to provide cooked food to needy persons. So far, they have provided 25 lakhs meals, Karthikeyan said.

More than anything else, Several WSHGs have voluntarily contributed from their group savings to the Chief Minister’s Relief fund to check the coronavirus pandemic, she added.

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