Puri: Today we are fighting a war against a disease that has threatened mankind by its severity and has already taken into its grip millions of people worldwide. The Coronavirus has been creating havoc everywhere and has the potential to disrupt life in India severely. It has impacted the basic necessities of life including source of livelihood, food and shelter of millions. At a time when the world is grappling with this, there are administrations that are setting examples for others to immolate by being the fast movers and fighting from the front.
While Odisha leads in taking precautions to keep the dangerous Coronavirus at bay, Puri district administration has been taking steps that are really appreciable and aimed at providing the much needed relief to the needy at this critical juncture.
Much before the Coronavirus cases showed up in Odisha, the Puri district administration took preventive steps that helped a lot in containing the spread of the disease and thereafter the administration has been set in motion to provide all the required services to people during the lockdown.
Being an important religious destination with thousands of people thronging to Puri every day, it was imperative for the district administration to activate the pandemic management mechanism in Puri.
Starting from delineating the borders of the district to managing the tourist flow to the temple town, the administration was the fast mover. It took the decision to stop all tourist movement to the city and thereby reduced the chances of spread of the deadly disease. While sufficient time was given to tourists from outside the state to return, others who were stranded due to the lockdown are being taken care by the administration. The district administration has made facilities to accommodation and fooding both the tourists and others such as labourers.
Puri district saw fast tracking of specialist health infrastructure in view of the threat from Covid-19 as the administration has set up 306 Covid Care Centers with 5494 beds for any eventualities across the district .
In line with the Chief Minister’s instructions for three months advance distribution of ration at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries, the district administration has distributed 1.72 lakh quintals of rice to 340,814 families. Along with this, as per the decision of the state government, 3,48,266 families have been assisted with Rs 1000 per family at their doorstep.
In order to help people during the lockdown period, in Puri district, more than 10,000 destitute and stranded migrant labourers are being provided free cooked food/Dry ration daily. Special arrangements have been made in six Niladri Nilayas in Puri to accommodate more than 300 destitutes and beggars.
To help the needy, especially the vulnerable under social security schemes a total of 1,91,682 beneficiaries have been given financial assistance of an amount totaling to 39.46 Crore.
As the lockdown disrupted the Mid Day Meal scheme totally, the district administration, as per the instructions of the state government, provided rice to 1,38,445 school students at the doorsteps.
One of the most affected people due to the lockdown are the street vendors for whom the state government sanctioned a financial assistance of Rs 3000 per family. Accordingly, the district administration provided the assistance to 2756 registered street vendors of four Urban Local Bodies of the district through direct benefit transfer.
To help the construction workers impacted by the lockdown, the Puri district administration has provided financial assistance to 50,879 registered and active construction workers with Rs 1500 per worker.
As decided by the government of Odisha, 61,237 students of Class 1 to 8th have been provided their free text books at their doorstep in Puri district thereby helping the students continue their studies in their homes.
The district administration took an innovative step by operationalising the PuriCares Helpline with the active help of local Police and Volunteers. The PuriCares Helpline is working 24*7 for serving the needy people. The helpline is addressing the queries of people from divergent issues like lockdown restrictions, delivery of medicines, problems of stranded people, information on containment zones, distribution of ration and other government benefits and many more issues. It has received more than ten thousand calls till date.
In Puri, the administration has focused on taking care of the elderly persons with the help of local police and civil society organizations like Youth for Better Puri (YBP).
To cope up with any eventuality, a 100 bedded exclusive Covid-19 Health Centre has been operatinalised in Puri that will help treat affected persons with mild and moderate symptoms.
Also, the heritage city has been kept totally clean with sanitation workers working tirelessly 24*7. Not only the city of puri is being cleaned, but the administration has instructed all GP Hqtr villages and other urban local bodies in the district to maintain cleanliness.
The Puri district administration has been engaging the ASHA and Anagan Wadi workers as health educators and promoters in the community who visit from door to door and generating awareness about COVID-19.
To provide medical guidance during the lockdown period, the administration took the help of tele-medicine facility by taking the help of doctors. Toll free numbers issued by the administration are guiding and treating people for normal ailments.
For effective lockdown DM and SP both are visiting each and every corner of the district to motivate Team and persuading people to stay at home for everyone’s health Sake.
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