The recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus has created a widespread tension in India. After recovering from the contagious Nipah virus and the floods the COVID-19 was beyond what the state could imagine. All three first COVID-19 cases reported in India were from Kerala which made the state under pressure and withholds all the development activities to be more prudent in providing medical assistance for the corona affected people and the people who are living in isolation. But the active engagement of all the workforces, including the educational institutions, has helped the state to stop the community spread of the virus. The excellent work of the state has already been held up globally. “The Kerala model” started by building a strong baseline and the state investment in its human capital has also eventually helped the state to get mass support from the people. In order to combat Coronavirus, IISER Thiruvananthapuram has put all it can through various activities that helped Kerela people to stay strong mentally and physically during this hard time. Following are some steps taken by this Regional Coordinating Institute of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan –
Posters were designed and distributed by the students of IISER Thiruvananthapuram to create awareness among masses.
When the number of positive cases started increasing in the state, the government has decided to go for state-wide shut down to prevent the community spreading of the virus. This later has led to the unavailability of basic materials like sanitizers, PPE kits and face masks. Next to the healthcare services by the state, no other materials have proved more essential than sanitizers, PPE kits and cloth masks. After having discussions with the state and district medical workers the team got to know about the importance of producing sanitizers locally to maintain the demand and supply balance of hand sanitizer and by producing the maximum amount of sanitizers to support the medical workers who are engaged in fighting the virus. The medical workers of IISER TVM with the support of the faculty members prepared hand sanitizer and distributed to the district authorities. After discussing with the state officials the institute decided to develop PPE kit since it is found that 80% of kits imported from china are faulty or failed in the quality check. For the production of reusable cloth masks, the team has mobilized the cloth bag manufacturing unit found by the UBA cell and submitted a proposal to the National Coordinating Institute. The IISER UBA cell is planning to make 10000 reusable cloth masks once it gets approved by the NCI. This initiative would bring a major impact on the environmental issues related to the disposal of single-use masks.
The staff and faculty members of IISER TVM provided food kits to the people living in Peringammala village.
Amidst the lockdown in Kerala, the state government has introduced a community kitchen model to support the families of daily wage labours and migrant labours in the state, as most of the migrant labours living in the state with their scanty belongings it is necessary to support these people to survive the pandemic and lockdown. IISER Thiruvananthapuram is located in a place where most of the population are being marked below the poverty line and have a sizable tribal population living in the foothills of Western Ghats.
Additional Supports provided by IISER Thiruvananthapuram.
Emergency ambulance service was provided for the households and communities adjacent to the institute.
As mentioned earlier the Institute is located in the foothills of Western Ghats most of the communities are facing issues with the lack of mobile network connectivity. This has made it difficult to communicate with the people and to circulate information over the phone. Lack of basic transportation facilities.
Amidst all challenges, IISER