Volunteering in the time of Fani : Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited honours young social workers

Bhubaneswar: Thirty-five young boys and girls peer leaders (pragati sathis) and youth leaders were today felicitated by Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) for providing support to community members both during evacuation and also during post cyclone relief work of severe cyclonic storm Fani, that hit the State Capital on May 3.
Addressing the young social workers BSCL Chief Executive officer (CEO) Prem Chandra Chaudhary said that they should work hard to make Bhubaneswar beautiful. He congratulated the participants for their efforts.
BSCL General Manager (Administration) Saroj Swain said “unless the youth of a country is aware of its rights and responsibilities no society can prosper. He appreciated the efforts of the Socially Smart Project that has created a forum for youths of Bhubaneswar to take leadership to the next level.
BSCL General Manager (Social Projects) Dipti rani Sahu also addressed the participants and congratulated them for their efforts.
Dipanjali Swain from Jagannath Basti, one of the peer leaders (pragati sathi), who was felicitated, said “the Smart City has given us an opportunity to grow the leadership skill. Our efforts during Fani has been positively received by community.’’
On the day around 6 am, calls were made to all the field coordinators, active peer leaders (pragati sathis) and project managers to ensure that people have moved to the shelters from slums and no person who lives in a `katcha’’ house stays back during the wind/cyclone period.
It was the last minute effort of the young peer leaders and Humara Bachpan Trust team that helped to evacuate approx 16 number of slums to the nearby temporary cyclone shelters opened by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) thereby averting a substantial amount of human loss.
Looking into the unhygienic condition of the slum, efforts were taken up in collaboration with peer leaders (pragati sathis) to clean up the area. Support in this regard was provided by group of volunteers who had come from other districts to provide support to cyclone ravaged people. These volunteers were basically from Jagruti, Nehru Yuva Kendra and Gyanadeep Foundation, who had with them the required cutters and expertise to cut down and remove big broken trees. In many of the slums the community not only joined hand in hand with these volunteers and project staff but also cooked food for these volunteers. Till date cleanliness drives have been completed in eight slums of Bhubaneswar.
Clean drinking water was made available by linking the support provided by Tata Trusts or BMC tankers in this regard. Four slums were provided support in this regard. The peer leaders (pragati sathis) are trained youth leaders under the Socially Smart Project to educate, train, youths from slums under the Bhubaneswar Town Centre District and beyond in collaboration with BSCL and UNFPA.

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