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Pune’s YouthConnect provides information on Covid-19 and also counsels patients of the pandemic

Representational image. Pune-based NGO YouthConnect has started a helpline for Covid-19 patients and their family members (Pic: Courtesy delhiplanet.com)

In the course of more than one, the pandemic Covid has thrown up several new terms and information, which at times goes beyond people, leading to confusion and wrong perception. A Pune-based youth group, YouthConnect has come with the idea to start an online information and communication dissemination drive focusing on important and varied aspects of the ongoing pandemic, Covid-19.

Talking about the idea, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, Vandana Chavan, who has conceptualised it, said the drive would try to simplify the jargon surrounding the pandemic and try to help citizens get information in a clear format.

She went on to state that there is an information overflow on social media platforms and elsewhere, while there is a lack of collated one stop shop for all information. This purpose will be solved with the virtual platform.

Also read: Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation reaches out to students with online counselling during Covid

In a report in Indian Express, she said: “The web pages of World Health Organisation (WHO) has tonnes of information about the disease. There actually is an ocean of information about covid-19 everywhere which at times can be overwhelming. Our endeavour is to present this information in a manner which is easily consumable,” she said.

In order to reach out to people and allow them greater access, Facebook will be used as the platform, said Chavan.

The initiative includes a very important aspect of the Coronavirus pandemic and its relief, which is guidance and help of a medical expert. There will be a special feature called Doctor On Call, which will have Dr. Shishir Joshi, going live every Saturday at 3 p.m. in order to take questions from people.

Elaborating on this, Chavan said: “In this present age and time the concept of family doctors is almost gone. What we want to address through this are the common questions people would have , they can range from anything like when to get tested to how to prone properly.”

The platform has also lined up plans to discuss non-Covid subjects, issues and topics to help people cope up with mental health issues faced by them amid the pandemic. This will help them to deal with stress and loneliness associated in the lockdown. ”Given the situation such topics are welcome distractions and we plan to make them a regular feature,” Chavan averred.

Going beyond providing vital information and counselling, Chavan disclosed that the initiative will also feature sharing of positive stories of survivors. According to her, such stories and examples will not only resonate well with everyone, but also give hope to those who are battling the disease.