The COVID-19 outbreak has affected the daily lives of many but during these tough times healthcare professionals, police, ward volunteers, and other frontline COVID responders have been working tirelessly to ensure the safety of the citizens. Despite standing at a greater risk of contracting the virus, these COVID warriors are leaving no stone unturned to perform their duties. Celebrating the unbreakable spirit of the innumerable individuals fighting the pandemic, we interacted with Sailaja, a ward volunteer from Vizag.
A graduate in commerce, Sailaja has always been inclined towards helping those who are in need. Fortunately, when Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy rolled out the state’s village and ward secretariat programme, she landed in the job. In a conversation with Yo! Vizag, the ward volunteer of P&T Colony, Vizag, says, “My father is a washerman. Despite coming from a poor background, I was encouraged to study further.”
In order to bridge the gap between the government and the citizens, the Chief Minister introduced the initiative to enable decentralised administration. They receive the grievances from the public and direct them to the concerned authorities. In the face of the pandemic, ward volunteers have been pro-active in bringing effective services to the citizens. When asked about her experience during the lockdown, she tells that the initial months were challenging. “I, along with other ward volunteers would visit the houses of foreign returnees and collect their personal information. Throughout the past five months, we made sure that the pensioners received the essentials as well as the monetary support from the state government without any delay,” she explains.
May it be an issue related to sanitation or a government scheme reaching its beneficiaries, Sailaja mentions that she’s one call away. Sharing her way to reaching out to the members of the households assigned to her, Ms Sailaja says that she created a WhatsApp group and added them so that she can keep in touch with all the participants. Those you cannot share their problems via text will directly reach out to me through call. Stating that there are still many individuals who are not aware of how to avail the benefits provided by the government, the youngster says, “The past one year of working as a ward volunteer in Vizag has been extremely satisfying to me. I tried to help people as much as I can and I wish to continue serving them to the best of my ability.”