OdishaPlus Corona Bureau
CRY in partnership with Mobile Vaani- a flagship initiative of Gramvaani has launched a massive awareness building drive to prevent this outbreak of COVID 19 in various districts of Odisha and Bihar. The Regional Director of CRY, East, Ms. Trina Chakrabarti said, “the objective of the initiative is to combat misinformation about Covid19, to help people undertake a self-assessment whether they need to undertake a test. It also emphasizes on various practices that we need to undertake related to basic hygiene like washing hands and social distancing”.
The purpose of using the IVR technology was to spread awareness about COVID-19 to as many people possible as with the lockdown community meetings and gathering had become a challenge. Also, seeing the nature of the virus and its highly contagious nature spreading awareness about the dos and do not’s is very important especially to the communities where there are large number of migrating laborers who might not have access to information about the disease.
Since Mobile Vaani, a flagship initiative of Gramvaani, has been used by the communities previously to get information about schemes and also to record responses to service availability hence the medium is being used to spread awareness about COVID-19 too. The idea was to record capsules that have valuable information regarding the disease and run these capsules in the IVR platform so that when any one from the community dials the number they are able to get all the information about the disease. It started by uploading three awareness capsules which carried the details of COVID-19 and the preventive measures one should take.
The capsules focused on addressing common questions related to COVID 19 such as what is corona virus, how one may get infected, common symptoms of infection and protective measures to be taken. The capsules will be also made based on the recent information released by (World Health Organisation) WHO so that they reach the communities in the local language.
With a dedicated and published phone number (9266657333) in the 6 days of running the capsules from 20.03.2020 till 25.03.2020 as per the data shared, they could reach out to 961 listeners and 11 listeners had recorded their comments. The districts covered in Odisha includes Koraput, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Bolangir and Bargarh. The figures are a definite indicator of the effectiveness of the initiative and inspires CRY and Gramvaani to focus more on such efforts to cover more ground in terms of reach.