Yoga, meditation, COVID volunteer certificate course in Odisha quarantine centres

Mona Parthsarathi

New Delhi, May 22 (PTI) Yoga and meditation, a COVID volunteer certificate course and voluntary contribution in different activities with a daily stipend are a few things that the people returning to Odisha can do in around 15,000 quarantine centres during their isolation period.

According to government data more than two lakh people, mostly migrant labourers, have returned to Odisha till Tuesday. They have been moved to around 15,000 quarantine centres set up across the state. During their 14 or 21-day stay, depending upon conditions, many activities were introduced last week to keep them engaged and prevent trauma.

Deoranjan Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary to Odisha Government, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Department, has said that they are also exploring the possibility to connect them with MGNREGA .

“Various activities have been planned to keep people engaged in quarantine centres like morning yoga and meditation to get rid of trauma and anxiety, but we also thought of gainfully employing them so they can earn some remuneration. Like if somebody volunteers to help in cooking, cleaning or landscaping etc., they will get a stipend of Rs 150 per day. I am also exploring if they can be engaged in MGNERGA work where they can earn Rs 207 daily,' he told PTI.

'We are also studying their skill profile for long-term planning. Like what type of skills they possess and where they can work,' he added.

Anu Garg, Labour, Child and Women Development Secretary and incharge of all training modules for COVID management, described the 10-day COVID volunteer course module which was implemented last week at quarantine centres and soon they will start online training as well.

'This course is about educating the people who have come back so that when they go out they have basic knowledge about coronavirus and can become volunteers. In this way there should not be any stigma and discrimination,' she said.

'We have made a 10-day module in which medics, who are going to these centres, will take sessions on a daily basis. We are not getting people separately to train them. We have given videos and material in Odia and English. Some day its about demonstration of washing hands in a right manner or symptoms, causes and preventions for thew virus, the importance of quarantine and some day mask making etc,' said Garg.

She said that when they are released they will be given a course certificate which will prove that they have basic knowledge about COVID–19 and they can be used as volunteers. At the end there will be a quiz about whatever they have learnt.

They are also planning online course for home quarantines apart from exploring the possibilities of having an mobile app. 'For people in home quarantine, we are planning an online version of it. We are also planning to have a mobile app. We will have videos and voice overs in Odia and English. Online will start in a few days,' said Garg.

When asked about the response she said that it is still in initial stage but they are hoping to engage with people constructively.

'We have started the training of people who are in districts and they will now train the people in quarantine centres. The concept was approved 4-5 days back only. We have already done the first online training for master trainers,' she said.

People are also responding as far as the contribution in different activities is concerned.

'We have to undersrand that they are in immense trauma and stress. They have reached here in very difficult circumstances, by bus or by train . Some of them are coming forward to contribute and I am sure the numbers will grow. They also have to utilize the time ,” said Singh.

On a query he also said that cyclone Amphan has not affected this module.

'Coastal districts will be marginally affected but quarantine centres are spread across the state , not in one or two districts,” he said. PTI MJ AAR