FMS Delhi: Students carry out Dengue Awareness Campaign for poor
Vihaan, the Social Service Cell of FMS, Delhi, carried out an awareness campaign that sought to address the prevalent social issues around North Campus, focusing on the problems faced by the poorest strata of society, viz. Rickshaw-pullers, slum-dwellers, immigrant construction workers, beggars & street children.
It was 2nd September, a holiday for Janmashtami and everyone was in a jovial mood. But students of FMS had a different plan for the day. On this auspicious day ten teams of eight students of FMS strived to increase the knowledge of the destitute parts of the North Campus area, including
- Slums near Delhi University hostels
- Rickshaw stands at Metro stations
- Kamla Nagar market
- Roop Nagar
- CWG construction venues in Christian Colony
- Malka Ganj
- GTB Nagar etc.
Mainly teams were given the task of bringing awareness about dengue and a budget of 300 Rs was given to each team. The timeline for the event was 90 minutes. The teams took a variety of approaches to the daunting task at hand, and managed to reach over three thousand people.
FMS Students During the Dengue awareness Campaign
The experience in words of participants –
1) Shakti Praksh Chittara (MBA 1st Year student)
“We started our campaign by first getting hold of big broom sticks and dustbins. We then searched for prospective places for our Dengue campaign. The idea was not just to carry out campaign for a single day but was also to lead other people to think about what we did and then learn in the process. One of our teammates knew about a small slum dwelling near the famous Malkhaganj Chowk near Kamla Nagar. When we reached there we were shocked to see the living condition of the people in the slums, the slums which were hardly 100 meters away from a very popular and commercial joint like Malkhagunj.
On one side of the road we have a big modern commercial trade outlet like Big Apple and on the other side we have people living in very unhygienic & inhumane condition. When we talked to few of the families in slums we got to know that the narrow streets were being cleaned regularly but the residents themselves did not take much care of keeping it clean. As we walked, we found lots of garbage lying around and lots of water clogged at several places on the road. We started off with explaining the importance of maintaining a good hygienic environment. They also realized that it is very important but they believed maintaining it every day was a big challenge. We distributed soaps among the residents and explained them how to keep their surroundings clean and dry.
A common problem everyone complained about was with the introduction of dumping bin near to their slums. Local municipality had recently put up a new big metallic dust bin to store the garbage before collecting it for disposal. This has resulted in more hygienic problems for the slums dwellers as the number of mosquitoes have drastically increased.
Then we indulged in cleaning of the surroundings. We found the people very eager to know why we were doing it and we were more than happy to interact with them. Many of the elderly residents showered their blessings on us and we found it really motivating to be able to help them in every way we could. We then interacted with slum children and found out that most of them have either stopped studying or have been very irregular in their studies. We distributed small notebooks, pencils, rubbers among the children as a modest effort to increase their interest in studies.”
2)Chetan Gadia (MBA 1st year Student)
“Since we had a budget of around Rs. 300 so we bought cold and cough and fever medicines which included crocin, paracetamol and anti allergic, band aids, dettol bottles and cotton and pamphlets for the description of the symptoms of dengue fever which was a key concern in Delhi. We addressed a crowd of minimum 20 at a time and described about the symptoms of dengue fever, and precautions to be taken to prevent the dangerous disease and if anyone was suffering with fever for more than a day then we recommended them to go to a nearby government hospital for a check-up.
We explained them about the significance of hygiene and cleanliness and gave them a few tips like: to clean their hands before cooking food, cover the food with plates, do not allow the water to collect near their locality as it gave the invitation for mosquitoes to collect. We also taught the ladies how and when to use band aids and dettol .
So in 90 minutes our team had approximately covered 400 people in totality which was an awesome task. With this we all returned to our colleges with a sense of satisfaction and happiness.”
In all, an audience of over a 1500 people was reached, as the totalling of each team’s scores under the heading “Outreach Realised” showed. The teams each had an observer assigned by Vihaan, who evaluated all participants on groundwork done by the individual, interest/inclination towards CSR, out-of-the-box thinking, and team dynamics. Five individuals with the highest scores were named Associate Members of Vihaan, while eighty-odd participants were inducted to the volunteer corps of Vihaan.
Hence The Main Driver points of the Dengue Campaign were :
Preventive Measures –
- Creating awareness about Dengue through Posters (Visual Media) and about the symptoms which can help find out a patient in initial stages
- Distribution of mosquito coils, mosquito repellent creams, water sanitizing powder ( to be strewn over standing water)
- Cleaning of the dirty bylanes and creating awareness about importance of hygiene in the fight against dengue
Remedial Measures -
Few of the slum dwellers who felt they had normal fever, but showed symptoms of dengue were sent to nearby govtt hospital with a Vihaan volunteer accompanying them.
This campaign served as the launching pad for 11 pilot projects, each with its own capacity to evolve into full-fledged bastions, empowering the poor and the destitute towards a better and prosperous future.
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