Maha: Akola villages use WhatsApp to coordinate virus fight

Akola, May 8 (PTI) WhatsApp has become the main communication tool for a police station in Akola in Maharashtra in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak as a large number of the 90 villages under its jurisdiction are tribal-dominated, and many are nestled in the Satpura mountain range and difficult to reach.

A WhatsApp group comprising the sarpanch of villages, the police patil, gram sevak, important functionaries and health workers is now the driving force behind the efforts to ensure COVID-19 does not spread to these hamlets, said Inspector Dnyanoba Phad of Akot Rural police station, some 50 kilometres from the district headquarters.

'Every important message on the outbreak, state and Central government announcements, pleas to adhere to social distancing and lockdown norms are being disseminated through this WhatsApp group,' Phad told PTI on Friday.

'It is having the desired impact as the recipients and subsequently the villagers know the source of information is authentic. All 90 villages, even those in the Satpura range, in our police station limits are connected to this group. Even complaints about lockdown violations are relayed on this group by alert citizens quickly,' he added.

Savra village police patil Shilpa Sapakal was all praise for the group and said it kept even far-flung villages in Akot connected to the authorities in these distressing times. PTI COR BNM BNM