Women's brigade spreads COVID-19 awareness in C'garh villages

Women's brigade spreads COVID-19 awareness in C'garh villages
Raipur, Apr 16 () A special women's brigade calledMahila Commandos, which became popular for its long battleagainst alcoholism and social evils in Chhattisgarhs Baloddistrict, is now sensitising people about social distancingand personal hygiene to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Clad in maroon sarees, wearing caps and face masks,women volunteers of the group step out of their homes invillages across Balod every morning, chanting the slogan:"Corona ki jung, Mahila Commando ke sang, jitenge hum,"(Mahila commandos will fight coronavirus and we will win).


"Our reach is in almost every villageof the districtand people pay heed to our messages. We thought our role couldbe crucial in making people aware about coronavirus and hence,we joined the district administration in fighting thepandemic, Shamshad Begum, who leads the drive, told .

Mearly 12,500 women commandos are active in about 400villages of the district. Apart from spreading awareness, theyare also helping the poor and needy people by providing themrice and cash through the district administration, she said.

"So far, they have contributed over 10 quintal rice tothe Anaaj Bank (grains bank) set up by the districtadministration as part of relief measures during the lockdown.They also collect cash, ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000from every village,and deposit it in the collectors relieffund," she said.

Besides, some women volunteers are also stitchingmasks and distributing them for free to people and districtadministration employees, said Shamshad Begum, who was awardedPadma Shri in 2012 for her social work.


Nearly 200 women commandos, who have been termed as"super police officers" (volunteers working for police) bylocal police administration, are also helping the police inmonitoring the law and order situation, the activist said.

There are about 50,000 women commandos spread across12 other districts of the state, and they are also playingtheir part in the fight against coronavirus in theirrespective areas, she said.

"But, the focus is mainly in Balod where we aregetting support from the district administration," she said.

The activist laid the foundation of Mahila Commandosin 2006 from her native place in Gunderdehi when it was partof the undivided Durg district (now in Balod, about 100 kmfrom the capital Raipur).

She has been running the campaign through herorganisation 'Sahyogi Jan Kalyan Samiti'.


Hailing the women commandos, Balod Collector Ranu Sahusaid their proactive involvement has added impetus to thedistrict administration's efforts to fight coronavirus.

"After completing their household chores, these womenconduct patrolling to ensure everyone stays inside doors,collect food grains for distribution among poor and make facemasks for free distribution. They are doing whatever they canin this time of crisis. Their contribution is highlycommendable, the collector said.

The district administration has arranged vehicles forthem to transport rice and pulses collected by them forcontribution to the Anaaj Bank and is also taking variousother measures to help them, Sahu added. TKPGK GK

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