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MP Happiness Dept to help Covid-19 patients, health workers

Police adopt orphanages, old age homes during Covid-19 crisis; Home Guards help IT firms shift equipment to work from home
Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Shivraj Singh Chouhan
File picture

PTI   |   Published 26.04.20, 09:54 AM

Home Guards help IT firms shift equipment to work from home

Amid the lockdown, a number of Information Technology sector employees in Maharashtra have been able to shift to working from home, all thanks to help provided by the Home Guards.

These personnel have been helping various IT firms by accompanying the trucks used for transporting computers, laptops, networking equipment and other peripherals from the offices to residences of employees, a senior police official told PTI.

Maharashtra has several IT campuses in Pune, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Nashik, where thousands of employees of various companies cater to overseas clients, contributing sizeably to export earnings.

As the movement of people has become extremely difficult due to the lockdown, industry body Nasscom recently approached the Home Guards to help the IT companies in moving the technical equipment to the homes of employees.

Keshav Murugesh, the Chief Executive officer of WNS, who was chairing Nasscom till April 6, said they approached the Home Guards for help and the force was pivotal in executing the task.

All the IT companies paid for the help rendered for the movement of equipment, he said.

Following the request, volunteers of Home Guards accompanied trucks of various companies and helped in shifting their desktops, laptops in Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nagpur, a senior police official said.

More than 20 IT companies, like IBM, Hexaware, Cognizant took help of the Home Guards, the official said.

'Whatever we could do, we did it to support the industry,' he said.

Director General of Home Guards and Civil Defence, Sanjay Pandey, said various companies, which are mostly service providers, needed help during this period.

It is natural that we should help the industry. We provided the Home Guards for shifting desktops and laptops of IT companies, Pandey told PTI.

The Home Guard volunteers earned extra for the help they extended, another police official said.

As of now, the strength of the Home Guards in Maharashtra is 45,000, out of whom 15,000 personnel are on duty during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown. A few of them have been given the task of helping the IT industry, he said.

The Home Guards usually assist Maharashtra Police during natural calamities. They are also deployed for bandobast duties during festivals, in trains to help the railway police and other police assistance-related work.

The BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government has decided to have a separate 'Happiness Department' and use its services to reduce the stress of coronavirus patients and boost the morale of those at the forefront of the battle against the disease.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, during his previous tenure, set up the 'Anand Vibhag' (happiness department) in 2016. But, after the Congress came to power in the state in 2018, it merged the happiness department with the 'Adhyatmik Vibhag' (spiritual department).

Now, Chouhan has directed the state officials to demerge it, and engage the Happiness Department in the fight against COVID-19.

The chief minister has said those infected by coronavirus should be treated in a joyous environment, and emphasised the need to boost their morale and entertain them to reduce their stress, a state public relations department official said.

During a review meeting on the coronavirus situation on Saturday, Chouhan said music, films, inspirational messages and entertaining programmes should be allowed through audio- visual means at COVID-19 hospitals and quarantine centres, the official said quoting the chief minister.

Also, efforts should be made to boost the morale of the staff engaged in the fight against coronavirus, so that they can work without any stress, the chief minister said.

For this, the Happiness Department needs to be demerged and its services be taken, he said.

Police adopt orphanages, old age homes during Covid-19 crisis

In a benevolent gesture, the the Rachakonda Police Commissionerate in Hyderabad has adopted as many as 41 old age homes, orphanages and homes for specially abled persons amid the ongoing lockdown.

In view of the COVID-19 crisis, inmates of the homes are being supplied with groceries and other essentials by the police even as different NGOs have also come forward to join hands with them in arranging ration, medicines and safety equipment.

Rachakonda Commissioner of Police Mahesh M Bhagwat said the police force decided to adopt thehomes as they mostly depend on the service of kind-hearted people in society.

During the lockdown which restricts people to venture out, such people were not able to serve the needy nor the managements of the homes were in a position to step out to manage things.

The requirement of each of the homes is assessed by the SHO concerned and furnished to the Office of Commissioner of Police.

The Citizen Volunteer Cell at Rachakonda Police Commissionerate is managing the procurement and distribution of food, ration and other relief material and then maps the donors to the homes and ensures all that is necessary is supplied to them, said Bhagwat, who himself has distributed groceries at some of these homes and personally ensuring that their needs are fulfilled.

Bhagwat said so far 41 orphanages, old age homes and homes for specially abled housing nearly 1,630 inmates were identified and the police would meet the requirements of the homes.

Rachakonda is one of the three Police Commissionerates covering Hyderabad and its adjoining areas.

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