OdishaPlus Bureau

  • A joint initiative of OdishaLIVE and Swasthya Plus
  • Supported by UNICEF, Odisha
  • Brings insights on COVID-19 management in the state
  • Stories of COVID Warriors and Experts
  • Advice by Doctors and Specialists
  • Radio series airs every Sunday at 10.30 AM
  • Emphasis on children, education, health, youth and more

କୋଭିଡ୍ ୧୯ ସମୟରେ ସାମାଜିକ ବାସନ୍ଦ ଓ ଭେଦଭାବର ମୁକାବିଲା | କେତେ ନୂଆ ବାଟ – ୩ : Audio Series on COVID in Odia Episode-3

କୋଭିଡ୍ ୧୯ ସମୟରେ ସାମାଜିକ ବାସନ୍ଦ ଓ ଭେଦଭାବର ମୁକାବିଲା | କେତେ ନୂଆ ବାଟ – ୩ : Audio Series on COVID in Odia Episode-3କୋଭିଡ୍-୧୯ ଭଳି ଏକ ଜଟିଳ ସମୟରେ କିଛି ନୂଆ ସୂଚନା, କିଛି ସାହସ ଓ କିଛି ସକରାତ୍ମକ ବାର୍ତ୍ତା ନେଇ ପ୍ରସ୍ତୁତ ହୋଇଛି ଏହି ଅଡିଓ ସିରିଜ୍ ‘କେତେ ନୂଆ ବାଟ’। ଏଥିରେ ରହିଛି କୋଭିଡ୍ ମୁକାବିଲା ସମ୍ପର୍କରେ ନୂଆ ଦିଗ ଓ ତଥ୍ୟ, ଏହି ଲଢ଼େଇରେ ଆଗଧାଡ଼ିରେ ଥିବା ପ୍ରମୁଖ ବ୍ୟକ୍ତିଙ୍କ ସହ ସାକ୍ଷାତକାର, କୋଭିଡ୍ ହିରୋଙ୍କ କାହାଣୀ, ସ୍ୱାସ୍ଥ୍ୟ ପରାମର୍ଶ ଓ ଆହୁରି ଅନେକ କିଛି।ଏହି ସିରିଜର ରେଡିଓ ପ୍ରସାରଣ ସହିତ ଡିଜିଟାଲରେ ପ୍ରସାରଣ କରାଯାଉଛି। ଓଡ଼ିଶାଲାଇଭ୍ ଏବଂ ସ୍ୱାସ୍ଥ୍ୟ ପ୍ଲସର ପୋର୍ଟାଲ ସହିତ ଫେସବୁକ୍, ହେଲୋ ଏବଂ ୟୁଟ୍ୟୁବ୍ ଆଦି ସୋସିଆଲ ମିଡିଆ ପ୍ଲାଟଫର୍ମ ଜରିଆରେ ଦେଶ ବିଦେଶର ଦର୍ଶକ ଓ ଶ୍ରୋତାଙ୍କ ନିକଟରେ ଏହା ପହଞ୍ଚୁଛି।

Posted by Swasthya Plus Odia on Saturday, June 13, 2020

Concerns about social stigma and discrimination have heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus infected patients, migrant workers, and health workers have been the victims of social stigma and discrimination in various parts of the country. Although the government has continuously urged people not to discriminate, there still have been many instances across India.

Episode 3 of the audio series ‘Kete Nua Bata’ features discussions on Combating Stigma & Discrimination during COVID-19. The discourse centers around how COVID patients, health and sanitation staff, people returning to their hometowns from within and outside the state have been discriminated against. The program aired on Sunday, 14th June at 10.30 am from all major channels of All India Radio, Odisha.

UNICEF Odisha Communication for Development Specialist Lopamudra Tripathi and Chief Spokesperson on COVID Action, Govt. of Odisha, Subroto Bagchi have discussed in detail why there is fear in the minds of the people about COVID-19 and why there is talk of social stigma and discrimination. It also highlights what UNICEF has done with the state government to help eradicate the fear of coronavirus from the people’s minds and help them give a human understanding of stigma and discrimination in these critical times.

Lopamudra Tripathy, C4D Specialist, UNICEF, Odisha says “We had not imagined that during the COVID times, the discrimination and stigmatization against COVID affected and migrants would become such a huge issue. The return of many migrant Odias from abroad and other states has given rise to many rumors and misgivings. We should understand that 80 percent of all COVID cases are usually mild infections while many in Odisha have recovered from COVID-19 as well. It will be very difficult for us to combat COVID-19, if we as a community foster unsubstantiated fears and stigma in our minds.”

Lopamudra Tripathy, C4D Specialist, UNICEF, Odisha

Speaking on Combating Stigma & Discrimination during COVID19, Odisha Government’s Chief Spokesperson on COVID Action, Subroto Bagchi infers, “If we look at the history of rapid spread of the coronavirus, we can safely conclude that it was not spread by people migrating from one place to the other nor by any daily labourers or migrant workers. We should not believe that the virus is spreading only because some people came from say Kolkata or Maharashtra, or Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu. We should remember that migrant people are not the carriers of this disease. Lastly, I want to say that during these critical times, we must fight the disease, and not the affected people.”

The success of the COVID campaign in Odisha is largely due to the establishment of the COVID Hospitals on a war footing and the provision of quarantine centers for workers from outside the state. Sundargarh Collector cum District Magistrate Nikhil Pavan Kalyan informed that quarantine centers were being run for the people returning from abroad or from COVID prone areas in other parts of the country.

Subroto Bagchi, Chief Spokesperson on Corona Action, Govt. of Odisha
Subroto Bagchi, Chief Spokesperson on Corona Action, Govt. of Odisha

“24X7 monitoring of people and their needs was essential to combat the situation and we did it on a priority basis. We setup an 8-member team operating out of the collector’s res-office so I could monitor the progress myself and I can proudly say that within three to four weeks, the team has done a wonderful job. We helped ferry nearly 8,000 people directly to neighboring states of Odisha seamlessly and provided them proper food and transport. We also brought in students from Kota, Rajasthan. Similarly, we brought back more than 10 thousand migrant Odias with proper planning and coordination”, said the Collector of Sundargarh Mr. Nikhil Pavan Kalyan.

During the spread of Coronavirus and the lockdown scene, digital news platform OdishaLIVE and health & wellness portal Swasthya Plus have come together with a new media campaign titled ‘Kete Nua Bata’, supported by UNICEF, Odisha. The campaign aims at disseminating new information to the public while sprouting courage though positive messages and the real-life stories of COVID Warriors.

Nikhil Pavan Kalyan – Collector, Sundargarh

As a part of the campaign, ‘Kete Nua Bata’, a weekly radio series is lined up every Sunday on 10.30 AM. The programme goes on air in all stations of All India Radio, Odisha, every Sunday at 10.30 AM. Similarly, the audio series reaches the audiences at the same time in India and abroad through web and social media platforms of OdishaLIVE and Swasthya Plus including Facebook, Helo, and YouTube.

The first COVID-19 patient of Odisha was identified on March 15. On his return from Italy, he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. He was then treated at a hospital and fully recovered. Even after he recovered and returned home, he was suspected by locals. In this episode, he narrates his experiences battling the disease and the stigma.

The whole country was under lockdown for COVID, and everyone scrambled to reach home. In such a situation, when Deepak Kumar Jena, a young man from Arana Panchayat in Biridi block of Jagatsinghpur district came back, the people in the village viewed them with suspicion. He lost his livelihood due to the lockdown and returned to his village from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, but he was discriminated against. He speaks to the public about his travesty through the program ‘Kete Nua Bata’.

Sonpur’s Abhishek Mishra is an example of how people coming to their villages not only from outside the state, but also from within the state, were stigmatized and abandoned. Abhishek lives in Bhubaneswar. He returned to his village after the lockdown was effected. Two days after staying at his home, Asha and Anganwadi workers came and inquired and pasted a COVID home quarantine sticker in front of the house. Then the villagers came together and ridiculed him and his family subjecting them to discrimination. This heart wrenching story is also featured in this episode of Kete Nua Bata.

Sanitation workers continue to play a big role in the fight against COVID. Pramila Dei, a Cuttack Municipal Corporation employee, spoke about how the sanitation workers constantly face stigma and difficulties performing their routine duties.

Thousands of people from outside the state are returning to Odisha. They have to live in a quarantine centre away from home on their arrival. The government has given Sarpanchs the status of a frontline COVID warrior. Bimal Kumar Sethi, sarpanch of Hazipur panchayat in Jagatsinghpur district, has reached out to people in the village to combat discrimination in the village. He describes his experience in this episode.

‘Keta Nua Bata’, is a series of 13 episodes and it shall go on air until 23 August 2020. As a part of the campaign, a series of stories and interviews on the subject are being published across more than 10 web and social channels. UNICEF’s popular animation and audio series, titled ‘Meena’, is also being aired and released as a podcast under the ‘Kete Nua Bata’ campaign.