Vijayawada, June 03: Hon’ble Governor Sri Biswa Bhusan Harichandan interacted with the District Collectors and Presidents of District Units of Indian Red Cross Society, AP Chapter, through the video conference held from Raj Bhavan on Wednesday and reviewed the activities of IRCS and the steps taken to contain the spread of corona virus pandemic in the state.
The Governor congratulated IRCS volunteers, staff, donors, Govt. officials and all those who took part in the noble Mission to contain Covid-19 pandemic, which had posed the biggest health and economic crisis. The Governor said he is satisfied that the IRCS through its State Branch and the 13 District Branches has been actively involved in providing succour to the needy and for supporting and supplementing the government agencies in the war against COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Sri Harichandan said the members of the Indian Red Cross Society A.P. State Chapter, have swiftly responded to the crisis well in advance and started awareness campaigns in schools, colleges and communities by spreading awareness among the target groups, through publication of posters, pamphlets etc. in a timely manner.
He said soon after the lockdown was imposed, the Red Cross volunteers of 13 District Branches under the leadership of the District Chairpersons and the overall guidance of the District Collectors took up massive activities to mitigate the suffering of the most vulnerable and the needy round the clock. The Governor commended that action taken by the District Branches in the state have focused on relief to the destitute and homeless people by extensive distribution of food, dry rations, vegetables, handmade reusable masks, hand sanitizers, fruits, clothing, soaps and many such items required for the well being of these hapless groups by keeping in view their essential needs and requirements.
Governor Sri Harichandan said he was impressed to see that many district units of IRCS have organised community kitchens, Relief Centres for the destitute as well as managing the quarantine centres, supplying medicines, transportation of patients, assisting the hospitals in maintaining hygiene etc. with the active participation by the President and Chairperson of District Branches and with the support of the District Branch Secretaries, Staff and the Red Cross Volunteers by locally mobilizing resources and support from local voluntary organizations, philanthropists and appreciated the donors for their liberal contributions.
The Governor said that it is for the first time in the history of any public health emergency and disaster that Red Cross has provided a platform to converge all humanitarian services and actions at the district and sub district level and reached out to the most vulnerable and the distressed.
“I was particularly pained by the plight of the migrant workers and labourers during the COVID-19 pandemic who have faced multiple hardships with thousands of them walking back home, with no means of transport due to the lockdown”, said the Governor.
The Governor further added that all the District Branches under the leadership of the concerned Chairpersons all along the National Highways, Railway Stations, Bus Stands and the Interstate Border Check Posts started relief camps providing food and shelter to the migrant labourers belongings to different States passing through Andhra Pradesh and he was touched by those scenes and he was greatly relieved when he saw the Red Cross volunteers swung into action by focusing on migrant workers walking on Highways, providing them food, water, buttermilk, etc. at the toll gates.
The Governor said even the Hon’ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh also appreciated the initiative of the Red Cross District Branch of Guntur for their services provided to the migrant labourers at Kaza Toll gate on the National Highway No.16 and urged the District Collectors to involve the Red Cross Volunteers in providing services to the migrant labourers in all the districts of the state.
Governor Sri Harichandan also congratulated the State Unit and the district units for overcoming the constraints and ensuring continuous blood supply by organising blood donation drive and in-house blood donation camps and ensured that the Blood Banks operated by the IRCS are maintaining sufficient stocks.
He requested the members to focus on measures to be taken post-lockdown, by organizing sustainable activities such as capacity building of communities, programmes for protection of children, women and elders etc.
The Governor said the members of IRCS have served the needy people with high level of commitment, dedication and their courage to serve in this difficult situation as frontline warriors and served fearlessly in inhospitable conditions such as Red Zones, Containment Areas, Covid Hospitals and Quarantine Centers and they were seen everywhere serving everyone.
Governor said the Volunteers are the backbone of the Red Cross movement and urged the district units to make all out efforts to recruit as many volunteers as possible into the Red Cross movement by enlightening the youth on the cardinal values of the Red Cross movement.
Sri Mukesh Kumar Meena, Secretary to Governor, Sri Sridhar Reddy, Chairman, Sri A.K. Parida, General Secretary & CEO of AP State Branch of Indian Red Cross Society, District Collectors & Presidents of IRCS District Units and other district officials have participated in the video conference.