NITI Aayog seeks help from civil society groups in fighting Covid

“Pandemic fatigue has resulted in weaker adherence to these norms over the last few weeks." NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant wrote.

NITI Aayog has written to 1.10 lakh civil society organisations (CSOs) seeking their support in fight against the pandemic and to address the issue of “vaccine euphoria.”

In a letter to all CSOs, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, “Pandemic fatigue has resulted in weaker adherence to these norms over the last few weeks. Additionally, vaccine euphoria is also setting in due to which people who have been vaccinated no longer feel the need to adopt COVID safe behaviours. Combating fatigue and sustaining behaviour change is therefore critical at this time.”

Kant also asked them to supplement the government’s efforts for “providing shelter to the homeless, migrant workers and urban poor families.”

He urged them to address the issues such as “vaccine hesitancy” and “dispel myths and misconceptions” about Covid-19 vaccination.

Kant asked the CSOs to “support and complement” the efforts of the state and district administration.

He urged states to mobilize all the CSOs at the field level and designate district level Nodal Officers.

“The Nodal Officer should maintain a list of all credible NGOs, their area of functioning (health, education, women, elderly and child care, etc.) and contact details of the official,” Kant said in a separate letter to the states sent on April 22.

“Hon’ble PM in his address to [the] nation on 20.04.2021 emphasized all stakeholders to exercise a “Micro-Containment Strategy” which would help us to arrest the spread of Covid-19 locally,” he said.

Kant heads one of the Empowered Groups of Officers, constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs, for planning and implementation of an effective Covid-19 response. The group is tasked to coordinate with the “Private Sector, NGOs & International Organizations for response related activities. The group has held 4 meetings with civil society organisations, international organisations and representatives of the private sector in the last 15 days. The next meeting is scheduled to be held on coming Monday.

In letter to states, the NITI Aayog CEO said, “The State Governments should engage with the CSO’s/NGO/s in executing this plan to reduce the surge of cases across the country,”

“I would like to reiterate that there was immense response from CSOs during the first wave of the pandemic in the year 2020,” he said.

He further said, “CSOs have immensely contributed by supplying food for the needy, distribution of masks, awareness generation, providing shelters, health care facilities developing information and communication material…”

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