To raise awareness on coronavirus, Lal Sabuj Society (LSS) has initiated multiple campaigns and projects all around the country.
Masks, hand sanitisers and disinfectant liquids became very hard to find as soon as the virus started spreading all across the world. Under such circumstances, the prices of the masks were unaffordable for low-income labourers, such as carpenters, rickshaw pullers and bus drivers. "To initiate safety measures, all the members of the organisation contributed and distributed free face masks to rickshaw pullers in areas of Shahbag, Mothsho Bhaban, Doyel Chottor and Teacher Student Centre (TSC), University of Dhaka, on March 18," says Farhan Hasin, a team member and volunteer of LSS.
Similarly, they also distributed free masks, dry food and disinfectant hand-rubs to students, staff members, nurses, doctors and employees at the Sher-e-Bangla Medical College in Barishal and to commoners, especially journalists, at selected public places in Jhalokati, Barishal, Naranganj and Dhaka.
To raise awareness in this regard, they also went on to distribute free leaflets that list the symptoms, causes and prevention methods for the virus in areas of Barishal, Jhalokati and Narayanganj. Their door to door campaign reached hundreds of underprivileged families where each volunteer individually shared information about COVID-19, explained the ways they can be safe from the disease, and demonstrated the 20-second hand washing technique to each member of the family. To reach more people, they pasted posters and drew graffiti in public places such as markets, parks and common playgrounds. "Alongside regular live sessions by the team members, we have also released several videos on social distancing and initiated their online challenge '#Fight Against Corona' as a part of their online awareness campaign," asserts team member Jannatul Mou.
While most individuals are limiting their visits outside the house, people still need to leave their homes to buy groceries and medicines. "To ensure safety in this regard, we have marked spots, each 6 feet apart, to help people maintain a safe distance from each other while they step out," mentions Tahsin Uddin, the founder of LSS. "To prevent people from coming out of their houses, we also launched our project, 'Wheel of Hope', a door-to-door delivery service where our volunteers will buy necessary items for people and deliver them to their respective addresses."
Through their 'Food in Distress' project, LSS distributed food packets consisting of rice (3 kg), lentils (1 kg), cooking oil (1 litre), potatoes ( 2 kg), onions (1 kg) and soap bars to low-income families in Khulna, Barishal, Rangpur, Narayanganj, and Jhalokati. With support from ACI Limited, they have facilitated dry food to the health officials and volunteers at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Khulna Medical College Hospital and Rajshahi Medical College Hospital. They also distribute 200 packets of cooked porridge to the homeless around these districts, taking all precautionary measures. "Right now, we are trying our best to reach maximum number of people. However, I feel, we should do more for the ones who are going out every day for our safety, including the doctors, nurses, policemen, and journalists," mentions Farzana Nupur, an active team member of LSS.
Right now, LSS is working on setting up around a hundred hand wash points by implementing ICDDR,B's soapy water formula. "We have already collected 5 litre water gallons from our own houses and we will be using the formula where we dissolve 4 tablespoons of detergent in 1.5 litres of water," shares LSS member Dipto Sarker. "This way, we will save tonnes of water and money, as it will only cost BDT 5 per bottle and a family of four can easily sanitise their hands at least 400 times with it." They have started distributing Iftar boxes to the underprivileged from the first day of Ramadan.
Anyone who wants to join the cause can reach LSS through their Facebook page. "Also, if anyone out there needs help, we are just a post away from reaching your doorstep," concludes Tahsin.