In response to the rapid surge of COVID-19 cases, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India under Deendayal Antodayay Yojana- National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) has initiated online trainings for State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) staffs across 34 states and union territories under its fold. This was to capacitate SRLM staff to roll-out trainings for over 69 lakh self-help groups (SHG) under DAY- NRLM’s network. Training focussed on COVID-19 appropriate behaviours, COVID-19 vaccines, health seeking behaviours and immunity building. The trainings were conducted recently as an emergency response to the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 14,000 staff from the state, district and block across the SRLMs were trained as the resource persons in the online trainings. Another session on management of asymptomatic and mild cases at home and other related issues was also conducted later. SRLMs have conducted training for Community Resource Persons (CRPs) who are working as point persons for awareness generation and information sharing at the grassroot level.
The sessions highlighted information on accessing Covishield and Covaxin vaccines and obtaining required certification. They also detailed side effects felt with both vaccines to tackle apprehensions on vaccine use. Prevalent rumours in rural areas were elicited from participants and were addressed. Standard resource material is also shared with the state teams for conducting the training up to the SHG level. As on May 16, 2021, around 2,47,09,348 SHG members, 139,612 community cadres, 120,552 CRPs, 11,833 social action committees and 41,336 CLF office bearers have been trained.
Participants had the opportunity to share challenges faced and exchange ideas and experiences of rolling out behaviour change interventions given restrictions on travel and group meetings. During the training, an interaction with the expert working with COVID-19 patients in AIIMS, Jhajjar Haryana was also organised. The participants could get their doubts clarified regarding use of double masks, vaccination, post COVID-19 care among other activities.
As the government of India’s flagship poverty alleviation scheme, DAY- NRLM is mandated to work with women from the poorest households. The sessions also highlighted appropriate social protection schemes that could be leveraged by women from rural households to deal with economic shocks brought on by illness and loss of livelihoods.
Read more: 8 Steps Panchayati Raj Institutions are advised to take for combating COVID-19 in rural India
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