NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind Friday asked Governors and Lt Governors of states and union territories to mobilise voluntary and religious organisations to aid the effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
in a video-conference with the Governors, Lieutenant Governors and Administrators of states and UTs, the President and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who also attended the conference, asked them to find ways to complement the efforts of the central and state governments in meeting the challenges arising from the outbreak of COVID-19.
President Kovind and Vice President Naidu expressed hope that the Indian society's inherent strength of "sharing and caring" and the government's measures would mitigate the sufferings of the most vulnerable sections of the society, particularly the workers of the unorganised sector and the destitute, it said.
"The President began the conference by exhorting to the collective strength of the society and urged Governors, LGs and Administrators to mobilise volunteers of Indian Red Cross Society, voluntary and religious organisations to contain the menace at the earliest," the statement said.
The President urged everyone to hold regular stock-taking with their state governments and make contributions in a way that the battle again the coronavirus could be won. The statement said that he also said the best practices can be emulated in other parts of the country.
In the video-conference, the Delhi Lt Governor 14 Governors -- from the worst hit areas -- were shortlisted to share their experiences. The video-conference was conducted by the Vice President and it brought out the best mitigation practices initiated by various state, it said.
The discussions related to the status of COVID-19 in the states, the role of the Red Cross and that of civil society/voluntary organisations in aiding the efforts of the governments, especially with the lockdown and other emerging challenges, it daded The video-conference began with Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari outlining measures initiated in his state.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan lauded the role of the government, voluntary organisations, medical professionals, paramedics and the police for their coordinated effort to persuade people to maintain social distancing.
He recited a couplet. "Yun hi basabab na fira karo, kisi shaam ghar bhi raha karo" (which broadly translates to 'don't roam around without any purpose, stay at your home') to emphasise on social distancing.
The statement further said 1,800 retired doctors and MBBS students Kerala have enlisted with the state government to volunteer with their services if a need arises. "375 Psychologists are also roped in to give advice to those who find quarantine as difficult phase in their lives. This is considered to be an innovative move in Kerala worth emulating for other states," it said.
Kerala (129 cases) and Maharashtra (127) have reported maximum number of COVID-19 positive cases. Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala extolled the collective strength of the society to fight the menace. "Akshay Patra, a social organisation, is also actively involved in distributing food packets all over the state,' it said.
Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narayan Arya said that the state was fully prepared to meet all challenges. Delhi LG Anil Baijal said the city government and all other agencies were working in perfect coordination to enforce the lockdown and while also mitigating people's problems. He also pointed out that he was meeting his CM every day to take stock of the situation.
Gujarat Governor Acharya Dev Brat said that quarantine facilities in the state were being augmented. Social awareness programmes have been initiated to motivate people to follow guidelines, it said.
Governor of Telangana Tamilisai Soundararajan said the state is extensively using social media to spread awareness. Soundararajan also informed that Raj Bhavan has taken steps to provide food to about 800 needy families living nearby.
Vice President Naidu suggested her to take help of artistes, film stars, writers and intellectuals to raise the level of awareness. West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said universities in his state are ready to offer its services and space.
Himachal Governor Bandaru Dattatraya said special efforts are being made to ensure awareness in district with tribal population, the statement said. Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan talked about the state's proximity to international border that makes it vulnerable to spread of the disease.
He praised the state government's effort to contain the virus. "The Red Cross in the State has also been using its volunteers to spread awareness and its ambulances are available for use by District authorities," Chauhan said.
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit informed that construction workers re being provided Rice, Dal etc. He said that all rice ration card holders under PDS will be given Rs 1,000. "Amma canteens are being used to provide subsidised food," the statement said.
Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon praised quick response of the state administration and said that measures are taken to ensure food is made available to daily-wagers.
Punjab Governor and Administrator of Chandigarh VP Singh Badnore informed that Red Cross was helping supply food packets in Chandigarh. Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra informed that a fund has been created to enable people to make donations.