PUNE: About 60,000 National Service Scheme (NSS) students of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) will join hands with government officials to provide door-to-door services in Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik districts amidst the coronavirus lockdown.
NSS is a voluntary association of young students in Universities and colleges, working with an aim at developing a student’s personality through community service. With the nation under lockdown, these volunteers will help the government to deliver the essential items to the people at their doorstep.
The university administration on Sunday confirmed that the initiative would also reduce the burden on government officials in facilitating citizens with essential services.
Each student will adopt ten families in respective districts, ultimately reaching out to a total of six lakh families in Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik districts.
“We have instructed students to maintain social distancing while performing their duties. However, at present, we have asked each student to adopt ten families and survey their requirements. With the help of local government bodies or police they can make sure they get the essential services,” said Prabhakar Desai, the SPPU NSS Department Director.
Desai said that colleges have been directed to provide safety kits to students and citizens.
“Students have also been asked to make masks and sanitiser which they can use and give to citizens,” he added.
The work will be supervised by 600 programme offices, college principals and institute directors in these regions.
“Currently, our state and country is fighting through a serious pandemic, and it is expected that university should work at the ground level to help the society,” said Nitin Karmalkar, the SPPU Vice-Chancellor
Maharashtra remains one of the worst-affected regions due to the coronavirus with major cities like Mumbai and Pune emerging as the hotbeds. The total positive cases for coronavirus in Maharashtra has crossed the 800-mark.
IN A NUTSHELL
- Students will distribute essential services to senior citizens, labourers and others
- They will help with banking requirements of beneficiaries who are receiving funds under different government schemes
- They will help in making sure that the doorstep facility is given to underprivileged sections to whom the benefits aren’t reaching
- Students will work as ‘police-mitra’. They will help police at required police stations
- Students will run a blood donation camp on vehicles
- Students will make cloth masks and sanitiser for health service officials
Globally, the infected count is reaching 1.36 million, with nearly 76,000 reported deaths. The United States has been the worst-affected nation in terms of positive cases reported. Almost 3.7 lakh people have been infected. In terms of death reported, Italy tops the charts with 16,523. The number is rapidly reaching the 5,000-mark in India.
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