Taking the example of the massive volunteer system introduced by the Andhra Pradesh government to ensure delivery of essential services across districts amid the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Kerala government also announced similar plans.
The Kerala government said that it will form a network of over 2.3 lakh volunteers who will be provided training and will be responsible for the delivery of essential items and services at the village, ward and on mandal levels.
Speaking on the matter, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “We need huge human resources to deal with the emerging situation and facilitate multiple deliveries, including food supply to the needy. So the government decided to form a Community Volunteer Force in every local body in the state.”
The state has called for people between the age group of 22-40 to register for the volunteer initiative via a portal called ‘Sannadha.’ The community volunteers will be issued ID cards and their travel expenses will be reimbursed by local bodies.
A training module for the volunteers has been prepared and will be deployed as food delivery personnel, bystanders in hospitals for elderly persons, etc once they undergo the process. They will also be required to deliver essential commodities to those who are placed in-home quarantine.
The model was adapted from an initiative introduced by the Andhra Pradesh government in which 2.5 lakh volunteers including Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery (ANM) and ASHA workers to provide emergency services.
The campaign, conducted through a survey, was announced to help the state trace people with travel history to foreign countries and prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections in the state.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy appreciated the work done by the volunteers who are at high risk of contracting the contagion but are working for the wellbeing of the state.
He said that the volunteers will re-conduct the survey to trace anybody with symptoms irrespective of travel history. The volunteers will also play a major part in delivering essentials at the grass-root level during the 21-day lockdown which is in force across the country since March 25.