A committee has been set up under the leadership of Rajesh Pande, member of the management council, along with other members such as Sanjay Chakne, Bhagyashri Manthalkar and Prabhakar Desai, SPPU's NSS department head. (PTI Photo)
Reaching six lakh families within the next few days is the target that the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) authorities have set before student volunteers of the National Service Scheme (NSS), in a bid to spread awareness and ensure compliance of restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
A meeting was chaired via audio-conferencing by SPPU Vice-Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar on this issue, along with the NSS heads of colleges affiliated to SPPU in Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik districts.
A committee has been set up under the leadership of Rajesh Pande, member of the management council, along with other members such as Sanjay Chakne, Bhagyashri Manthalkar and Prabhakar Desai, SPPU's NSS department head. The committee will send regular updates to the vice-chancellor on measures being taken by the university on disaster management for coronavirus.
According to the instructions of the vice-chancellor, 60,000 student volunteers of NSS (wherever they are in lockdown) will be asked to reach out to 10 families each. Students will use social media as well as phones to contact families and will be expected to spread awareness, counsel families as well as conduct a survey of the difficulties being faced by people under lockdown.
The volunteers will conduct a survey on whether essential items like ration, fruits, vegetables, milk and banking services were available. If they find that help is needed, the volunteers will contact local district administration or police to make the services available. This is being done to ensure that people do not step out of their homes to avail these services.
Meanwhile, even as non-essential surgeries have been put off, blood banks are facing a shortage as blood donation camps can't be held. To overcome this problem, student volunteers of NSS will make a directory of 50,000 blood donors, and it will be cover areas in the taluka, village and district level. This is to ensure that blood donors are contactable and available in emergencies.
Nearly 600 officers and professors are involved in this work and they will ensure the safety of students who have to step out, under the guidance of district administration. An app is in the making to give training and instructions to all volunteers.