Frontline Warriors

Led by 37-yr-old sarpanch, Rurkee’s all-women team fights Covid

Promotes social distancing, distributes village-made masks among residents, holds theekri pehras to prevent outsiders’ entry

Led by 37-yr-old sarpanch, Rurkee’s all-women team fights Covid

Women of Rurkee village distribute ration among needy in Jalandhar. Tribune photo: Malkiat Singh

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 7

Led by a 37-year-old MA BEd qualified woman sarpanch, Rurkee village here has devised measures on a war footing by starting a mini-community movement to defeat Covid-19.

Daljit Kaur, Sarpanch of Rurkee village

We had a vague idea of what was coming. We wanted to prepare ahead. Before the 22 March Janta Curfew, we started going home to home, making announcements about social distancing. Three women made masks for the village which were distributed home to home by village vegetable vendors employed by us. Vegetable disbursal did not stop even after lockdown as we ensured to cover all homesRs

Announcements from gurdwaras to adopt social distancing, deputing village vegetable vendors and women volunteers to distribute village-made masks on the doorstep, formulating teams of 3 ANMS, ASHA, anganwadi workers, santisation drives, theekri pehras and routing Lohri-collected money for feeding poor were some of the measures taken by the village in its fight against the virus.

Starting much ahead, the village gave information about its over 150 NRIs to the administration. The key aspect of Rurkee’s fight against Coronanvirus is that it was a campaign devised and carried out primarily by women. The sarpanch as well as other women volunteers, donning hand-made orange masks, going door to door is a common sight at Rurkee. The village has also disbursed ration among over 280 persons, comprising over 150 migrant labourers in the village, with the funds collected by youngsters during Lohri.

Sarpanch Daljit Kaur said: “We had a vague idea of what was coming. We wanted to prepare ahead. Three women made masks for the village which were distributed home to home by village vegetable vendors employed by us. Vegetable disbursal did not stop even after lockdown as we ensured to cover all homes. Asha workers, ANMs and anganwari workers led the three-member teams which went house to house distributing masks and spreading awareness.”

Ahead of the Janata Curfew, women of the village began holding meetings with ANMs and social workers while maintaining social-distancing to counter Covid-19. A campaign to make masks, sanitising the village on a regular basis, provision of ration to the over 200 families of migrants and theekri pehras include the efforts the village to defeat the disease.

Daljit Kaur said: “A group of youngsters of the village had started a WhatsApp group with the help of which they arrange rations. The money collected on Lohri and monetary help from NRIs was used to ensure rations for over 250 persons. With help from the BDO office, we have also been sanitising the village. We have sanitised village streets four to five times so far.”

As many as 350 masks made by three-women have been distributed in Rurkee so far. More are being prepared daily. The women team has 16 members, including the village sarpanch, panchayat members, village board chairman, ANMs, anganwadi and ASHA workers and other residents.

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