Talk it Over, is a weekly show curated and hosted by RJ Annapoorna Ravichander, Public Affairs Foundation. This series brings together a pool of experts who share their opinions and ideas on varied topics.
In the interview she gave a broad overview of Public Affairs Foundation’s activities. She has been associated with PAF almost since the time of its establishment. She said that both PAF and SOCHARA where she is associated are like-minded organisations and focus on citizens getting access to the best quality public services that were possible, through Loops of feedback and social accountability.
Citing the importance and need that individuals need to keep in mind during the pandemic, Dr. Thelma shared that though COVID-19 poses a challenge to all it can be taken as a huge learning both internally as a learning for each individual as well as for families and communities. She added that the pandemic has created panic and fear but it is best that one is well-informed and aware of facts. She added that a simple way to do this was to maintain social/physical distancing and social solidarity – social distancing is often the word most commonly used but actually it means physical distancing where possible. Wearing masks, washing hands, maintaining hygiene, especially when one is coughing or sneezing by using tissues or handkerchiefs. She also added that one should learn to build resilience, by performing simple breathing exercise (this can be fun), even in small spaces, do yoga and pranayama.
Regarding simple home remedies, she encouraged people to have herbal tea, kadak chai, (adding ginger and pepper, tulsi leaves etc),
Interacting with Communities
Keeping in mind all the precautions that have been introduced by the government, organisations/individuals should maintain social distancing conduct health check-ups, meetings in community centres, Anganwadi centres and health centres. Planning and allocating time to small groups of people will also be useful and this could be done by using Smart phones which most of the people have). Simple rules like maintaining 1 or 2 metres when waiting in a queue, wearing masks, using sanitisers and uses tissues/handkerchiefs when coughing or sneezing, will in some arrest the spread of the virus.
Dr. Thelma concluded by stating that “we all should see public services are part of our services and treat the service members as our family member. So if we treat the Asha workers in the Anganwadi, police, sanitation workers with a great degree of love and respect, it will help a lot in boosting their morale”.
Dr. Annapoorna Ravichander
Public Affairs Foundation