Lakshmi Devi is an inhabitant of Hatogaon Pt-I Village of Dhamar Gaon Panchayat under Lakhipur Development Block, Goalpara, Assam. She has been living with her husband and two children. Even though she has not lost someone close to her family during this pandemic but she had to face a lot of challenges during the pandemic. She is a SHG member of Soali Atmo Sahayak Got and President of Mulagabhoru Village Organization.
Since a major part of her income is derived from agriculture, she faced difficulties in selling the farm produces like rice and vegetables as the weekly haats were also closed. During this Covid-19 situation interactions with the community got affected as the community members did not welcome each other to their respective homes for day to day discussions due to the fear of Covid-19. It has really affected the bonding of the community members.
The entire village was under the fear of covid-19 as few of the villagers including SHG member and closed ones of SHG members were tested positive. One more huge challenge was conducting marriages, religious activities and other social ceremonies. Also, restrictions on movement from one village to another have affected the overall social environment of the village.
Being the President of her Village Organization she did door-to-door campaign, distributed food both from VO and also personally to a total of 90 plus SHG households from her income source. This process took almost one week.
Mulagabhoru Village Organization initiated a camp on Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) at Dhamar Gaon Panchayat under the guidance of BDO, BPM, ANM and ASHA worker. Around 60 plus SHG members including her VO members took part in the test. The only challenge was to convince the SHG members to come and take the test due to the fear of testing positive during the test as well as the fear that entire village will come to know about this. Lakshmi Devi has played a pivotal role in persuading the SHG members to come and take the test to remove the fear out of them and thankfully none of them tested positive. Any social initiative taken by Lakshmi Devi is fully supported by her family member.
It definitely had a positive impact in the mind-set of the SHG members regarding covid-19 testing as it removed the fear to a great extent. It also brought a great sense of positivity to the community members. Being a leader of a CBO definitely helped her to persuade fellow SHG members. In this process her SHG members also helped her spreading the message that we all should follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviours and do the testing.
As she is already a President of Mulagabhoru VO, she directly got the information on Covid-19 appropriate behaviours, precautions and guidance on overcoming the challenge from Mission staff and as well as Jeevika Sakhi.
Information on Covid Appropriate Behaviours (CAB) such as maintaining social distancing, washing hands regularly, wearing of masks, good food and nutrition for boosting immunity especially for pregnant women and lactating mothers during this isolation period received directly from Mission staff.
Initially it was difficult for her and her family members to cope up with the covid-19 situation which arise due to sudden lockdown but gradually she mentally prepared herself as well as her family members as she understood that the only way to fight this battle is to follow the CAB and making her community members aware of this pandemic.
Everyone hopes that the Covid situation ends and life normalizes soon so that more community based activities can be taken care of.
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