Shehanaz Begum, Outreach Worker, is a resident of Dhanibandh settlement in Sambalpur and also an outreach worker with CFAR. She covers 14 out of the 88 settlements in Sambalpur to interact with the community and provide them the necessary support in the form of information.
A trained tailor, she is putting her skill to use today. She, along with the support of the MSC member Ms. Rehana Begum, raised money locally to purchase the necessary materials and are making cloth masks and distributing to the residents free of cost.
Shehanaz Begum is distributing 50 masks on daily basis in Rashtrapati Colony Gobintola, Sakhipada and Dhanupalli and while distributing them she also disseminates information on how to use the mask and why it is important to use the mask.
In addition to this, she supports in distributing puffed rice, biscuits and jaggery for 75 elderly and children living in Rashtrapati Colony through her own effort. She is one of our many champions from Sambalpur who is making the efforts to fight COVID-19 more meaningful.
The Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) field team has been reaching out to the settlements and providing awareness about both Government schemes as well information to stay protected from COVID-19.
The team provides customised information on whom to approach to avail all the Government benefits including ration, financial assistance and where to get their concerns addressed. The team has been closely working with the Deputy Commissioner of Sambalpur as well as the Ward Officers, Swachh Saathis, Anganwadi and Self Help Group representatives.
The team provides specific information on the timings for collecting ration and also support in ensuring social distancing among people who come to collect ration.
They also alert the women about the financial assistance that is being provided for the women having Jan Dhan account and the financial assistance for unorganised workers and the procedures to avail it.
As on April 19, the teams had reached out to 730 people in 102 settlements either face to face or over phone.
A WhatsApp group with active members across the settlements has been initiated and this group is used to provide information on COVID-19, understand the status of cooked food delivery in their settlements.
Any issue related to ration or non-availability of cooked food can also be conveyed in this group. Those who cannot type or send message use photographs and audio messages to inform the field team.