Continuing the initiative of making the process of governance more participatory and people-centric by giving a platform to the public to share their suggestions and views, the second episode of ‘Awaam ki Awaaz’ radio programme was today aired on all local & primary channels of All India Radio (AIR) stations in J&K. The telecast of the programme was also broadcast on DD Kashir.

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha dedicated the second run of the radio programme to Corona Warriors and expressed his gratitude towards them for putting their lives at risk for the service of the people.

We are grateful to our Corona warriors in the fight against Covid-19. Union Territory of J&K is indebted to all the selfless Corona Warriors, Doctors, Paramedics, Ambulance drivers, frontline workers, and those involved in production and supply of essential items and services, observed the Lt Governor.

Addressing the people of J&K, the Lt Governor shared the slew of measures recently announced by the UT Government to help those who unfortunately lost their loved ones to Covid-19.

Along with the entire country, Jammu and Kashmir is also going through the challenging times of Corona virus. In the last few weeks, many families in the Union Territory have lost their loved ones to the epidemic. The administration is with them in this hour of grief, said the Lt Governor.

“I know no human life can be compensated for. But it is the responsibility of the government to take care of its people and to stand with them in these tough times”, added the Lt Governor.

We have taken many such decisions, as will provide relief to the families affected by this catastrophe. Senior citizens who have lost the only earning member of their family will be provided with special pension for life. Children, who have lost their parents to Covid-19 pandemic, will be provided with special scholarships. Every family who has lost their near and dear ones due to Covid-19, will be provided with financial assistance for self-employment through Jammu & Kashmir Bank, the Lt Governor maintained.

Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of some of the most vulnerable sections of society. J&K UT Administration is providing Rs1000 per month to registered construction workers, ponywalas, palkiwalas, pithuwalas for the next two months. Apart from this, the amount allocated by the government to the beneficiaries of the Social Security Schemes will be transferred immediately and ration will be provided on priority basis to all ration card holders. In these challenging times, the Old-age Homes, Orphanages will be extended all the support from the government including rations, he added.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji has emphasized on the importance of human life. We have to fight the Covid pandemic by following the Corona Protocol completely while taking the development of Jammu and Kashmir to new heights. From May 8, dry ration is being made available to poor families under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, said the Lt Governor.

The Lt Governor also called for Jan Bhaghidari and cooperation in the fight against the deadly virus. I urge everyone to wear face-masks, register themselves for the vaccination, get tested and ensure Covid appropriate behaviour at all times to combat Covid pandemic, added the Lt Governor.

While sharing several inputs received from Doctors, citizens, nurses, and frontline health workers for tackling the spread of the deadly virus more effectively, the Lt Governor made special mention of Dr. Sharmeen Mushtaq from Srinagar and Dr. Shabnam Rizvi from Reasi who have urged for strict compliance of corona protocol and stringent action against unscrupulous elements indulging in black-marketing and hoarding of medicines.

Dr. Huma Mirza from Rajouri, Dr. Sachit Sharma from Kathua, Dr. Pallavi Sharma and Dr. Aditi Saini from Jammu gave their valuable suggestions pertaining to testing of children on priority basis in the houses with Covid positive persons, importance of wearing double protection masks, punishing the hoarding and black marketing of oxygen and medicines, restricting public gatherings, motivating people for getting their whole family vaccinated.

Dr. Umar Jan from Ganderbal raised a significant issue in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic regarding mental health of the people and suggested for on-call advice from trained psychiatrists to build positive thinking in people and help them in fighting the stress.

The Lt Governor observed that the government is providing actionable information on coping with Covid-19 related stress and anxiety. People can speak to the doctors through district helpline numbers, he added.

Doctors and healthcare workers are working day and night to protect the citizens. These people faced great challenges since the beginning of the epidemic and many Corona warriors have sacrificed their lives in this battle. Public must pay attention to their advice and strictly follow the Corona Protocol”, said the Lt Governor.

While sharing suggestions received to strengthen the infrastructure, the Lt Governor observed that the UT Administration is fully prepared in the fight against Corona.

In the last 6 months, J&K Administration has strengthened health infrastructure across J&K. We have added 26 new Oxygen Generation Plants. 14 more plants will be added by the end of this month and additional 34 Oxygen Generation Plants will be installed within 6 months. In the next 6 months J&K will have a total of 99 Oxygen Plants in the Medical Facilities of Jammu and Kashmir to serve the general public, the Lt Governor maintained.

Replying to the suggestions received regarding various important aspects of covid containment measures, the Lt Governor underscored several Covid control measures undertaken by the Government including establishment of Covid control rooms in all districts; distribution of Covid kits to corona positive people and people with Covid like symptoms; constitution of committees up to panchayat level for covid management; enhancing health facilities at Primary, Community and District Health Centres; besides establishment of 24×7 operational war room for oxygen in Jammu and Srinagar as preventive measures against hoarding of oxygen cylinders and ensuring its smooth supply.

We are still in a better position than many developed countries when it comes to health infrastructure. Nevertheless, I believe that there is a need to improve primary health centres right now, the Lt Governor continued.

Responding to the suggestion of Sh. Kuldeep Gupta, a resident of Hiranagar Kathua for appointing college and school teachers who have received both doses of the vaccine as volunteers for administrative work in hospitals and Covid Care Centres, the Lt Governor assured him that his suggestion would be looked into earnestly by Health Department and further informed that the administration is roping in retired doctors, paramedical staff and MBBS final year students for Covid and non-Covid healthcare centres.

He also called upon the doctors to discharge their duties with utmost dedication.

Addressing the people who are insisting on Self medication due to misinformation, the Lt Governor requested them to take the medicines after consultation with the doctors only .

Referring to a video of Vijay Nath Mishra ji in which he has inspired the people to fight against Corona through a motivational story, the Lt Governor called upon the youth to help the needy by joining voluntary organizations.

During the programme, the Lt Governor shared some of the inspiring stories of Good Samaritans, and saluted their spirit and dedication towards human service.

We are grateful to the amazing civil society groups, NGOs and voluntary organizations, friends from media, healthcare workers, nurses like Meenu Sharma & Reeta Devi from Jammu, Murtza Jan from Pahalgam, Neelofar from Anantnag, for relentless efforts and strength they all have been providing to the society. This is an unprecedented contribution to the service of humanity, said the Lt Governor.

The Lt Governor made special mention of Ms Meenu Sharma, Dr. Vasudha, Ms Rita Devi and Sh Darshal Lal who are testing people in mohallas of Jammu. Currently, Ms Meenu performs 150 to 200 Covid tests every day. I salute Meenu and all the members of her team for their invaluable contribution in human service.

Ms Meenu suggested that every hospital should have a counselor who can provide advice and correct information to the family members of Corona positive people.

The Lt Governor further said that like Ms Meenu, Ms Mortaza Jan of Pahalgam and Ms Neelofar of Anantnag are also rendering their valuable services in Covid management since last one year. He also shared suggestions received from them related to transportation for nursing staff, availability of sufficient quantities of PPE kits for nursing staff.

The Lt Governor mentioned three doctors from Jammu, Dr. Somnath Verma, Dr. Rajesh Menia, and Dr. Akhil Mahajan who are providing pro bono treatment to people without any fees.

I would also like to thank Manu Rana of Jammu, his companions Amit Sharma, Ashok Kumar, and Vishal Chaudhary who are providing Oxygen Cylinder to the needy, said the Lt Governor.

The Lt Governor mentioned about a teacher from Kulgam, Sh Manzoor Lave who helped people during Ramzan by providing food to the people in Hospitals and Quarantine centres and continues to do so. He also spreads awareness through a loud speaker installed in his car regarding the Covid protocols.

The Lt Governor shared a phrase of Mahatma Buddha – “This Too Shall Pass”. Together we will fight Covid-19. Be supportive to each other and stay safe, said the Lt Governor.

“I once again salute all Corona warriors and all the staff involved in the healthcare system”, concluded the Lt Governor.

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