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ASU student volunteers’ ‘Beat Covid Campaign’ receives recognition by Ministry of Education, Government of India

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Leading a change, student volunteers at the Apeejay Stya University (ASU) under the National Service Scheme (NSS) and Rotaract Club, have steered a campaign to beat Covid-19 in the country.

The university’s community service cell coordinated for the formation and functioning of five student volunteer teams in areas of Hospital Management, Non-Hospital Management, Support to Covid-affected Families, Medical Supplies and Psychosocial support to Covid patients with the ‘Beat Covid Campaign’ initiative undertaken with the Mahatma Gandhi National Council of Rural Education (MGNCRE), Hyderabad. The students started working on the drive during the first Covid-19 wave in 2020 and accelerated the campaign on the onset of the second Covid-19 wave.

THE RIGHT IDEA
Believing in contributing towards the transformation of society due to the value-based education imparted at the university, the students’ focus has been to acquire dynamic and humane leadership under the guidance of the university’s Chancellor Mrs. Sushma Paul Berlia.  According to the coordinator of the community services centre, Dr. Vijay Kumar, “During an internal discussion, the student teams observed that many Covid-19-affected patients have lost their lives due to a lack of access to timely and accurate information. Along with this, several families have been facing psychological issues since the pandemic. Therefore, we collectively decided to work for Covid-management.”

TEAM EFFORT
The Mahatma Gandhi National Council of Rural Education (MGNCRE), a council under the Ministry of Education, Government of India further guided the students. The student teams facilitated in providing timely information to Covid-affected citizens across the country by checking for the availability of oxygen cylinders to ICU beds, ventilators, critical medicines and injections. They further reached out to patients suffering or recovering from Covid to help them maintain a positive bent of mind.

ACTIONABLE STEPS
The volunteers distributed food items and masks to the needy during the first and subsequent lockdowns and helped create awareness regarding Covid-vaccination. 500-600 masks were distributed in and around Delhi with the help of 11 volunteers. “During the initiative, I encountered a few underprivileged children who didn’t know how to wear a mask. I taught them and made them understand that it is imperative to wear it every time one goes out,” relates Archita Rath, Secretary, RaCASUG. The drive was organised while keeping in mind all the Covid protocols, observing a distance of a foot between volunteers, and sanitising every now and then. “At the end of each day, I would distribute around 40-50 masks, and it felt great working with friends to help citizens in such hard times,” recalled Abhishek, volunteer at RACASUG.

GUIDED BY TRANSFORMATION
The pandemic has led to devastating social and economic disruption in the lives of people, wherein such an initiative taken by student volunteers is a necessary step to bring a change. “The idea was to reach as many underprivileged people as possible, so that we can help curb spread,” says Mr. Vibhuti Verma, Treasurer, Rotaract Club of Apeejay Stya University Gurgaon (RaCASUG). Ms. Shanika Rana, President, RaCASUG further emphasises, “The mask donation drive is a responsible and active way to give back to our community.”

“Many Covid-affected patients lost their lives due to a lack of access to timely and accurate information. Along with this, several families have been facing psychological issues. Therefore, the student teams decided to work for Covid-management.”

-Dr Vijay Kumar, coordinator, community services centre, Apeejay Stya University

Mrini Devnani is Senior Correspondent (Newsroom). She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has a passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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