New Delhi [India], Mar 27 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind along with Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday held video-conference with Governors, Lieutenant Governors and Administrators of various states and union territories to find ways to complement efforts of central and state governments in meeting the challenges arising from the outbreak of COVID-19.
In his opening remarks, the President referred to the collective strength of 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.
Kovind and Naidu expressed hope that Indian society's inherent strength of "sharing and caring" and government's measures would mitigate sufferings of the most vulnerable sections of the society, particularly the workers of the unorganised sectors and the destitute.
In the video-conference, 14 Governors and Delhi Lt Governor shared experiences in their territories as the witnessed more cases of coronavirus.
The video conference was conducted by the Vice President and it brought out the best practices initiated by the various state while enforcing the lockdown in the country.
The video conference began with Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari outlining measures initiated by the state administration to combat the pandemic. Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan lauded the role of government, voluntary organisations, medical professionals, paramedics and the police for acting in a coordinated manner to persuade people to maintain social distancing in Kerala.
He recited a couplet and said, "yun hi basabab na fira karo, kisi shaam ghar bhi raha karo" ("Don't roam around without any purpose, stay at your home") to emphasise the significance of social distancing.
MBBS students and 1800 retired doctors in the state have enlisted with the state government to volunteer with their services if a need arises. Three hundred and seventy-five psychologists have also been roped in to give advice to those who find quarantine as a difficult phase in their lives.
An official release said that the move by Kerala was considered innovative and worth emulating by other states.
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala called for collective strength of the society to fight the menace. The release said that almost 8000 Red Cross Society volunteers in the state were working to spread awareness about the disease. Akshay Patra, a social organisation, is also actively involved in distributing food packets all over the state.
Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narayan Arya said that the state was fully prepared to meet all challenges.
Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal said that Delhi government and all other agencies were working in perfect coordination to enforce the lockdown and yet mitigate people's problems.
Baijal noted that he and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were meeting every day to take stock of the situation. At the district level, DCs and DCPs were coordinating moves to facilitate relief work and educate people about social distancing.
Gujarat Governor Acharya Dev Vrat said that quarantine facilities in the state were being augmented. Social awakening programmes have been initiated through media to motivate people to follow guidelines. He said Gujarat's cooperative spirit was in evidence in concerted efforts by government, social and religious organisations, private sector, voluntary and cultural organisations to pool their resources to meet the challenge.
Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan said that the state was extensively using social media to spread awareness. She said Raj Bhavan has also taken steps to provide food to about 800 needy families living near its campus.
M Venkaiah Naidu suggested to the Telangana Governor to take help of artistes, film stars, writers and intellectuals to raise the level of awareness among people about the seriousness of the global pandemic.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said that university campuses in the state were ready to be used for measures to contain coronavirus in case of need. He said Red Cross has been doing "an excellent job" within their resources to educate people about the deleterious impact of the disease.
Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatraya said that the Red Cross society has been working round-the-clock to help people in the state. Special efforts are being made to ensure awareness in districts with a tribal population.
Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan referred to Bihar's proximity to the international border that makes the state vulnerable to the spread of the disease.
He praised the manner in which the Bihar Government has been acting to contain the coronavirus. The Red Cross in the state has also been using its volunteers to spread awareness and its ambulances were available for use by the district authorities.
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit informed that measures were in place to look after construction workers and they were being provided food.
He said all rice ration-card holders under PDS will be given Rs 1000 in cash. Amma canteens are being used to provide subsidised food. Naidu advised the Governor to take help of film artists, private sectors and religious leaders.
Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon said the state has taken measures to ensure that food is made available to daily-wagers.
Punjab Governor and Administrator of Chandigarh VP Singh Badnore informed that Red Cross has been helping to supply food packets in Chandigarh and necessary steps were being taken by Punjab government.
Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra informed that a fund has been created to enable people to make donations and various institutions were making their efforts to deal with the challenge.
President Kovind urged everyone to hold regular stock-taking with the state government and contribute in a way that the battle against coronavirus could be taken to a logical end.
He also said that based on these experiences, the best practices can be emulated in other parts of the country. (ANI)