Skip to main content

COVID-2019: Part II Youth as Health Volunteers

 ©Jaya Prakash Kallikkal 2020

A fear seems to spreading all around in the wake of massive spread of Novel Corona Virus 19.  Just a while ago, I received a message on my mobile phone stating that classes in colleges in Delhi have been suspended till further orders in view of the CORONA Virus scare.  This alert not just confused me but also brought out an immediate question in my mind as to whether we are adequately prepared in terms of pandemic mitigation and relief if the virus wrecks havoc in the city in the coming days!

India has not been able to insulate itself from the spread of the virus which originated in Wuhan, China and the virus has now spread to multitudes of cities in this country.  Despite strict measures in terms of screening of airlines passengers arriving from Virus infected countries, N-Corona virus has seeped into life of Indians and poses a huge threat to the Indian Health system.

Pressure on health sector especially PHCs, Local hospitals apart from large speciality hospitals shall be immense. Facing the challenge of shortage of medical facilities including medicines and accessories in the event of a spiralling spread of the virus shall necessitate advance planning on war footing.  WHO has already declared N-Corona as a global Pandemic, if such a situation persists in India then we need to tackle the problem through intervention of National Disaster Management Agency.   But who would be the volunteers if an action plan is rolled out?

It also surprised me to come across a news item that stated that a number of schools and colleges have been closed down across the country in a bid to contain spread of the virus among children and youth in the country.  The issue is significant from the point of view of facing the scourge in the wake of a large impact predicted across the world.   While on one side financial markets are bearing the brunt with tanking stocks and disruption in production lines, on the other the health sector is facing a challenge of having to come out of this scare.
Today India has the largest share of Youth force in the world.   The National Youth Policy which was launched in the year 2014 has proposed a holistic vision for youth in India i.e.  “To empower youth of the country to achieve their full potential, and through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations”  As per NYP any person aged between 15 and 29 can be termed as Youth and as per current statistics 27.5% of India’s population falls in this category.

There has been a talk about imparting compulsory military training to youth in our country on the same lines as some other countries of the world.   This has been stressed to make youth of this nation face the real issues and also to imbibe in them a sense of National pride, discipline and harmony.  While a section of youth today is busy in studies or handling home and professional responsibilities with sincerity and girth, there is another section that is absorbed in mobile phones or wasting away youth under the influence of alcohol and drugs.  While global recession has brought about a serious challenge of unemployment, India had always been deprived of gainful employment on account of large population and lack of focussed opportunities for youth.

Perhaps in the wake of the global pandemic, it is time we wake up to a new reality and open up window of opportunities and challenge seeking attention of youth in our country.  Instead of giving holidays for schools/colleges, we should roll out a precise programme to educate and train youth in Disaster Management and risk mitigation in schools and colleges.   All educational institutions who have enrolment of students in the age group of 18-23 should compulsorily have teams from NDMA to train them for a fortnight on n-Corona.  The trained youth should be able to form groups and further train or assist professional health teams in the event of need.  The best students could be further volunteered into joining specialized programmes in future and should also be provided points to enable them to add up grades in next level defence entrance exams.

It is time India wakes up to new threats and challenges.  Youth force of our nation surely needs direction and guidance in this.   Declaring holidays in the wake of emergencies or hiding our heads under sands in the wake of internal or external emergencies would not help up alleviate problems at micro or macro level.  It is time our energies are synchronized to enable us to be brought to a position where we use our manpower especially our Youth power justifiably and to the best global standards.   It would not be out of place to mention that Youth of this nation need to be imparted soft skills in multiple streams and given the handle (of not just social media platforms) but real departments and machinery for fully gearing up for challenges of future. 

             Images courtesy: Internet


Popular posts from this blog

Story of our Loom

  Today is National Handloom Da y.   Swadeshi   Movement was launched on this very day i.e.   7 th  August, 1905 . Handloom reflects the glorious traditions of Indian Textile Industry and an era of self reliance in the area of garment production and fashion.   History is replete with instances of Indian textiles occupying high demand within Indian borders and far across the oceans. Handloom is also a significant source of livelihood which holds capacity to empower artisans associated with the profession.   It is estimated that 70% of all handloom weavers and allied workers in India are women.   However, being a household activity and entrenched in rural backgrounds, imperfect and often cheap imitations through power looms and illegal inroads through mills have brought this sector into a state of slow decay and death. I belong to Kerala and hail from the district of Palakkad. For several centuries handloom weaves from the Villages of Kollengode, Chittoor, Devangapuram, Kallanchira, Ne

In Trance: Chottanikkara Bhagawathy temple

  Hinduism offers answers to innumerable cryptic puzzles of life that are very simple to observe but too complex to gauge through available information in the current scientific system of understanding and research. 1500 year old Chottanikkara Bhagawathy temple situated in the suburbs of Ernakulam in the state of Kerala carries forward the ancient system of ritual worship centred around Goddess Bhadrakali that untangles the web of paranormal and supernatural through mantric practices.  Precincts of this majestic temple exudes a distinct aura and energy field that follows a devotee in and around the temple. G od’s own country, Kerala can also be called a land of festivals, temples and rituals. During a recent visit to Kochi, I was impelled to visit Chottanikkara Bhagawati Kshetram, a powerful devi temple located at 9.9331° N, 76.3911° E, in the suburbs of Ernakulam. Believed to be more than 1500 year old, the temple carries a mystical force around its precincts that dwells around a devo

Mannil Krishnan by Mannil Vikraman (In Malayalam)

മണ്ണിൽ കൃഷ്ണനെ അറിയുന്ന ഞാൻ     എന്റെ ബാല്യകാല സ്മരണകളിൽ അവധിക്കെത്തുന്ന കൃഷ്ണേട്ടയാണ് ഇന്നും. പ്രൗഢഗംഭീരമായ നടത്തവും കൃശഗാത്രനാണെങ്കിലും തലയെടുപ്പോടെയുള് കുശലാന്വേഷണങ്ങളും അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ മാറ്റുകൂട്ടിയിരുന്നു. ഭാരത തലസ്ഥാനത്ത്‌ ഭരണയന്ത്രം നിലകൊള്ളുന്ന സെക്രട്ടറിയേറ്റിൽ ഗതാഗത മന്ത്രാലയത്തിലായിരുന്നു ഉദ്യോഗം. അവധിക്കു നാട്ടിലെത്തുന്ന എല്ലാ വർഷവും പുതുമയേറിയ പല ഉപകരണങ്ങളും കൊണ്ടുവന്നു തറവാട്ടിൽ പ്രദർശിപ്പിക്കാറുണ്ട്‌. തറവാട്ടിലെ മറ്റംഗങ്ങളെ അവരുടെ വീടുകൾ സന്ദർശിച്ച് വിശേഷങ്ങൾ അന്വേഷിക്കാറു പതിവാണ്. ഉദ്യോഗത്തിനായി നാടുവിട്ടശേഷം അദ്ദേഹത്തെ ഞാൻ കാണുന്നത് ന്യൂഡൽഹിയിൽ വെച്ചായിരുന്നു. അവിടെ അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ അനൗദ്യോഗിക കർമമണ്ഡലം എന്നെ വിസ്‌മ യിപ്പിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. ഇപ്പോഴത്തെ ഡൽഹി ആർ.കെ.പുരത്തെ അയ്യപ്പ ക്ഷേത്രത്തിന്റെ മൂലസ്ഥാനമായ മുനീർക്കയിൽ അയ്യപ്പ വിഗ്രഹം പ്രതിഷ്ഠ നടന്നത് മുതൽ ഇന്ന് കാണുന്ന ക്ഷേത്രത്തിന്റെ വളർച്ചക്ക് കാരണഭൂതരായവരിൽ മണ്ണിൽ കൃഷ്ണന്റെ പങ്കു വളരെ വലുതാണ്. മുനീർക്കയിൽ നിന്ന് ആർ.കെ.പുരം സെക്ടർ II ലേക്ക് അയ്യപ്പ ക്ഷേത്രം മാറ്റാനുള്ള പ്രത്യേക കാരണം ഇന്ദിര ഗാന്ധി പ്രഖ്യാപിച്ച എമെർജൻസിയ