COVID-19: Civil Defence Wing of Police Joins NGOs to Fight Corona Virus Pandemic
Amidst the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic and nationwide lockdown, the hardest hit groups have been migrant workers, homeless, the poor and the disadvantaged. In Mumbai, a few non-government organisations (NGOs) including Moneylife Foundation have been working with the Civil Defence Organisation (CDO) to organise shelter and distribution of food, water, essentials and personal protective equipment (PPE) to those that need it the most.
 
It started with the efforts of Sanjay Pandey, a proactive Director General of Civil  Defence, whose team of civil defence official worked round-the-clock to help NGOs reach cooked food and provisions across Mumbai and the distance suburbs in a matter of hours. 
 
Among those who were supported by the effort were Rajya Sabha MP (Shiv Sena) Priyanka Chaturvedi , Roshni Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA), Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA) led by Anil Hebbar and Bilal Khan,  Abraham Mathai and Harmony Foundation, Sailesh Mishra (of Silver Innings and Snehanjali home for dementia patients) and other activists including Prof Ritu Dewan, trade union leaders Milind Ranade and Dr Vivek Monteiro, lawyer Trisha Shetty and others.  Well know activist Gurupreet Anand, who has fought against multi-level marketing (MLM) scams lie QNet is helping in providing food at the camp since Sunday. 
 
The key to the success of this multipronged operation is a WhatsApp group called Relief Mumbai created by Mr Pandey, which is used to post requests and ensure fulfillment at record speed. 
 
Once a request for help is posted, one of the NGOs, like GBGBA or YUVA or Mr Gulzar Khan indicate their ability to deliver help, which is immediately assigned to the civil defence team to provide logistics support – all combining to an astonishingly efficient system. 
 
 
Mr Pandey soon realised that Civil Defence has land specifically earmarked for settlement at Versova and decided to rapidly organise a relief shelter to house hundreds of migrant workers who were stopped from leaving Mumbai during the lockdown. 
 
 
The Civil Defence team under the guidance of Mr Pandey proceeded to build a shelter across the 30,000 sq. ft. ground. 
 
 
Support has poured in from many organisations to help set it up including Reliance Foundation, which provided all the infrastructure for the camp including water, bedding, chemical toilets and a host of other supplies. 
 
 
 
The tents were generously donated by Aminbhai, someone else chipped in with giant water storage tanks. Harmony Foundation has also been a part of the effort. 
 
 
This relief camp was set up in just three days, with tents and carpets to host migrant workers and laborers, as well as destitute who are without basic necessities like food and shelter. 
 
   
The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), provided big support with fumigation, providing water tankers, deploying a team of doctors to conduct health checks before entry of migrants.
 
  
 
The team is stationed at the camp along with sanitation workers provided for its upkeep.
 
 
The camp is running primarily through private volunteer contributions. At the moment the camp has the capacity to house 500 people and is already occupied by 400 persons, while maintaining the six feet apart social distancing norm.
 
 
Officers of the Maharashtra government disaster relief team have also been apart of the support group and chipped in with help when required. But ultimately, it is the excellent coordination and effort of Sadanand Wayse-Patil, Superintendent of Police (SP), who has been the nodal officer for all coordination, along his team of many committed officers, who pulled off the installation of the camp and having in functional in record time. 
 
 
Several individuals and organisations have stepped forward to help. ISKCON provided thousands of food packets that were distributed across Mumbai by the civil defense team. 
 
 
Ryan International School has provided buses for transportation of stranded migrant workers to the relief camp.
 
 
As many as, 800 Home Guard and Civil Defence volunteers have been deployed across the city to make the relief camp a success. 
 
 
Some of these volunteers have been guiding stranded migrant workers and homeless individuals to the relief camp. While others have been moving through the city to deliver food, water and PPEs to those in need. 
 
 
Moneylife Foundation has been a part of this group and undertook to distribute over 2,200 N95 masks to doctors at major hospital over Mumbai with the logistics support of the Civil Defence team to deliver them.  
 
 
The need for masks and PPEs is self evident and the lack of safety equipment is quite distressing. 
 
   
 
The shortage of PPEs is enormous and much more needs to be done to fight the pandemic. There is also a need for sanitisers, surgical masks, gloves, shoe covers and even full-body PPE suits. With the assistance of Civil Defence volunteers, Moneylife Foundation has been able to distribute the much needed N95 masks to Sion Hospital, KEM, JJ Hospital, Nair Hospital, DY Patil Hospital -Nerul, Global Hospital, Holy Spirit Hospital and many more.
 
 
If you would like to contribute for this activity, please click the link to DONATE NOW
 
Please do mark your donation as general donation, so as to enable us to identify and use the funds appropriately for the Relief Work. You can also share the details on foundation@moneylife.in
 
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    COMMENTS

    bhav64

    5 months ago

    WELL DONE SANJAY JI

    m.prabhu.shankar

    5 months ago

    Excellent. Great.

    sysman.computer

    5 months ago

    Excellent work By Sri Sanjay Pandey and Moneylife Foundation.
    A friend in need is the friend in deed.

    Functioning of Courts via Video-Conference: Technology Is Here To Stay, Says SC
    While issuing a series of directions in a matter taken up suo motu to look into guidelines for the functioning of the Court by video conferencing during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Supreme Court on Monday said that technology for such facilities is here to stay, says a report from Bar & Bench.
     
    While wrapping up the hearing, Chief Justice Sharad Bobde said, "This cannot be seen as a temporary issue. Technology is here to stay."
     
    The Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Bobde, Justices DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao also took note of glitches reported during the use of video-conferencing at the Supreme Court on 3rd April. In this regard, CJI Bobde has asked the department of justice and director of National Informatics Centre (NIC) to look into the 'serious problems with the sitting of the court on Friday'. 
     
    According to the report, the Court also took up the suggestions made by senior advocate Vikas Singh in a letter Sunday to decongest the courts through the long-term introduction of video-conference hearings.
     
    Chief Justice Bobde observed these suggestions should be given substantive consideration. He added that the court needs changes in the way it functions and that these issues will be considered after lockdown is lifted.
     
    "The Bench went on to further observe that the COVID-19 outbreak demands social distancing. To ensure the continuous functioning of the Court, every stakeholder expected to coordinate. To preserve the rule of law and the Constitution, social distances guidelines have to be followed, the Court said, adding that all hearings in congregation must necessarily be suspended," the news report says.
     
    The apex court also observed that it is necessary to ensure that court premises do not contribute to the spread of the virus. The Bench went on to intimate that it wants to give legal protection to the measures that have been employed by courts.
     
    The SC directed "The Supreme Court of India and all High Courts are authorised to adopt measures required to ensure the robust functioning of the judicial system through the use of video-conferencing technologies. Consistent with the peculiarities of the judicial system in every state and the dynamically developing public health situation, every High Court is authorised to determine the modalities which are suitable to the temporary transition to the use of video conferencing technologies."
     
    The SC added that these directions have been issued to ensure that the Judiciary rises to face the unique challenge that has been brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The orders will remain in place until further orders, the Bench added.
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    COMMENTS

    raviforjustice

    5 months ago

    Better late than never. I had read of a lower court in Mysore using video conferencing to record the statement of a witness based in the U S of A, almost 15 years back. And about judges being issued with state of art laptops and unlimited broadband connection more than 10 years back. I remember it clearly because I had even submitted an application under the RTI Act seeking info on whether the laptops with BB were being issued as part of computerizing court proceedings or as perks for the judges. No marks for guessing the response.

    pramodpraful

    5 months ago

    Kudos to the moneylife team.

    Indian Cabinet approves 30% salary cut for MPs, MPLADS suspended
    The Union Cabinet on Monday approved an ordinance amending the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954 to reduce allowances and pension by 30 per cent with effect from April 1, for a year.
     
    The President, Vice President, and Governors have also voluntarily decided to take a pay cut as a social responsibility. The money will go to the Consolidated Fund of India.
     
    This is being done in light of the coronavirus pandemic which India along with hundreds of countries is battling.
     
    As pointed out by Moneylife earlier this month, while everyone was coming forward to fight COVID19, the decision makers were busy with their lop-sided response such as giving a 4% hike in dearness allowance (DA) to privileged government employees.

    Although Indians are fully with the government in fighting the virus, there was not enough sensitivity about the fact that the poor, who are the largest section of the population, are suffering the most.
     

    Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar also said the Cabinet has approved a move to suspend the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) for two years (2020-21 and 2021-22). That amount will go to the Consolidated Fund of India.
     
    The purse strings of the government are being tightened in view of the coronavirus emergency and a fund -- PM CARES -- has been set up for relief efforts.
     
    Senior Congress Ahmed Patel "welcomed" the Cabinet decision, saying that "in difficult times it is necessary that we help citizens".
     
    "As a Member of Parliament, I welcome the government's decision to cut salaries of MPs. In this difficult time, this is the least we can do to help fellow citizens," he tweeted.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    pmshah1946

    6 months ago

    So what are their at home meals costing and who is paying for them ? Let only those MPs qualify who have served for 30 straight years without a break. Isn't that the general industry norm ? And no further benefits just like any other retirees. BTW they must retire too. If hey are ousted by way of losing in election then they should get disqualified. May not hold ANY other elected or appointed post for rest of their life. If they do they should be required to reimburse the total amount they may have received, in cash or kind.

    sysman.computer

    6 months ago

    Membership of parliament or legislative assembly should not be a professional career but only those, who want to contribute to social good, should join the legislature. It must be seva without any financial privileges or maximum just sustaining finances. Today, the memberships of parliament or legislative assemblies or even some municipalities has become a coveted club membership with almost unlimited privileges, both financial and otherwise. Nation bears a big cost of all these worthies compared to little productivity. Further, there must be a objective benchmark for accountability of them.

    saumilm

    6 months ago

    MPLADS should be scrapped forever.

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