Amid Covid-19 surge, thousands of youths, including girls, have voluntarily become frontline corona warriors in mountainous Mizoram to render healthcare services in hospitals, quarantine centres and the society.
The 85-years-old Young Mizo Association (YMA), northeast India”s oldest youth body, has mobilised young men and women for the social service and to serve both patients and healthy people.
YMA president Vanlalruata said members of his organisation along with the Village Council (VC) members had formed village-level task force to provide basic services in hospitals and quarantine centres.
“The YMA has 4,46,000 members. In the past 85 years (since 1935), we have devoted ourselves to the social services and for welfare of people,” Vanlalruata told IANS over phone.
“In consultation with the health authorities, doctors and health workers, the task force members, specially the YMA volunteers, provide help to Covid-19 patients and suspects. Supply of essentials at the doorsteps, medicines and food to the needy are our priority and key tasks,” he said.
The YMA members are also guarding state”s international borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh, and inter-state borders with Assam, Tripura and Manipur.
The Christian-dominated Mizoram, which is the second least populous (10,91,014 population as per 2011 census) state in the country, shares unfenced 404 km border with Myanmar and 318 km with Bangladesh.
Besides Bangladesh, surge of Covid-19 in Assam, Tripura and Manipur has made the people of Mizoram more vigilant.
Most YMA and task force volunteers were qualified in different healthcare services, said health officials. “It makes delivery of services easier,” said an official.
Laldinsanga Phutin, M.C. Lalrempuia and many retired medical experts, doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and health workers are doing voluntary work. “They also train YMA and task force members to provide necessary services,” a top health department official told IANS.
Vanlalruata said the 85th YMA day would be observed across Mizoram and other N-E states on Monday. “In keeping with Covid-19 guidelines, it will be a simple affair. The YMA day is also holiday. On the occasion, we would renew pledges to intensify voluntary works for welfare of people,” the YMA chief said.
The YMA has units all over northeast as well as abroad.
The Mizoram government on June 8 re-imposed total lockdown for two more weeks to curb spread of Covid-19 due to returnees to the state. Of the eight N-E states, only Mizoram was a green state until June 1. It”s lone Covid-19 patient had recovered on May 9.
The number of Covid-19 active cases by Sunday afternoon had climbed to 111.