Ahead of the UP 2022 surveys, the BJP raises 2 lakhs of village health volunteers
LUCK: Mayank Gupta, 40, owner of a drug store in Azamgarh, has a new designation: swasthya swayamsevak (health volunteer).
Armed with a kit, a few lessons from doctors on the do’s and don’ts to avoid the spread of Covid-19, a booklet and a few essentials like a pulse oximeter, medicines and a thermometer, he is part of the of the nearly 2 lakh of health volunteers the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) plans to deploy in the state campaign.
“All of these preparations are being made before the much talked about third wave. As the responsible party, we have taken this unique initiative to help the people if the third wave hits,” said Gupta, who is also the treasurer of BJP in the district.
At the one-day training session on Tuesday, the party’s national secretary general CT Ravi, UP leader BJP Swatantra Dev and state (organization) secretary general Sunil Bansal told the nearly 460 volunteers, mostly young people who had come to Lucknow, whom they would now train as more volunteers at the district level.
While the exercise, months before the UP 2022 polls, would obviously help the BJP to better connect with the villages that had witnessed widespread mourning during the second wave of Covid-19 in April and May, the volunteers health officials denied that the initiative was political in scope. raison.
“Our leaders made it clear that although the BJP took the initiative to send health volunteers to the villages, the volunteer training exercise would not remain confined to the party. In fact, we would be willing to form other social organizations regardless of party affiliation, ”said Indra Nigam, 34, accountant and BJP volunteer from Gorakhpur who attended the courses. He works with the BJP IT team in the district.
Some health volunteers, however, admitted that in addition to raising awareness about Covid safeguards, they would also popularize the various efforts by the Narendra Modi government in the center and the Yogi Adityanath government in UP, to help the poor through various programs. and initiatives.
“We are district BJP workers, so we will also talk about party and government initiatives,” said a health volunteer.
The idea of posting health volunteers to villages was first brought up by BJP (organization) secretary general BL Santhosh during his visit to the state capital in June.
At the time, the decision to deploy health volunteers was announced immediately after the extensive devastation caused during the second wave of Coovid in April.
The BJP also invited Dr Suryakant from the Department of Pulmonary Medicine at King George’s Medical University (KGMU) to coach the doctors who had also come for the training session.
“There were teams of almost five or more, including a doctor, from all districts for the training session in Lucknow. Dr Suryakant interacted with the doctors as well as with us. He insisted on the use of certain drugs, their dosage for different age groups and what can be administered instantly, ”said Sanjay Ram, a health volunteer from Gorakhpur.
Each team that arrived from the districts had a party leader, a district doctor, a computer scientist and a coordinator.
“Now these people would train volunteers. For example, there are 1294 gram-panchayats in the Gorakhpur area, and we will help train a male and female volunteer in each of these panchayats, ”he said.
“God forbid if Covid strikes again, we will be ready with some essentials like drugs. In case someone shows symptoms, we will decide, depending on the person’s condition, whether they should be quarantined at home or should be transferred to the nearest primary health center ”, a- he added.
It would be mandatory for health volunteers to be vaccinated and also to raise awareness about double-dose vaccination, the volunteers said. “We were given the mantra of ‘mera stand, Covid mukt (my stand, Covid free)’. But we will work to create a Covid-free environment not only at the stand level but also in society, ”said one of them.
Details of all sick people, the volunteers said, would be entered into a portal and shared with the party and government for proper follow-up.