Corona Lockdown: When Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention
People are applying out-of-the-box ideas to deal with challenges arising out of the extraordinary situation
You have to hand it to the human mind and its ingenuity, even as the stranglehold of the coronavirus tightens by the day. People in India are applying their minds not only to find ways to tackle the crisis but also to not let life, as we know it, come to a standstill, even looking forward to a future beyond the virus.
Here are some innovative ways we have responded to the recent crisis.
No liquor, make sanitizers
As liquor sales have come to a standstill, so have the factories that used to manufacture these. The Rajasthan government has found a way to put the liquor manufacturers to work and also deal with the crisis at hand. According to reports, it has asked nine liquor factories in the state to manufacture hand sanitizers.
These sanitizers will be distributed among government employees and others dealing with the crisis on the field. The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines say that sanitizers that have 60 per cent alcohol content are the most effective in tackling the virus. No wonder then that the Rajasthan government has gone to the very source.
'Radio Schooling' in Chhattisgarh
With schools across the country shutting down, parents and schools have been at their wit's end. But the Chhattisgarh government, in association with UNICEF, may have found a way to engage students in some productive school work. A private FM radio's help has been sought for what is called, ‘Radio Schooling’.
Targeted at the students in the age group of 3-12 years, the programmes are designed to let students, from the confines of their homes, enhance their knowledge and acquire new skills. The students are also being taught mathematics, science, English, and Hindi.
Masks from jail
Whether it is Madhya Pradesh, Delhi or Maharashtra, jail authorities have put their jail inmates to work so that they can be useful during the coronavirus pandemic. The latest to join is the Hindalaga Central Prison in Belagavi in Karnataka. The inmates have been asked to make reusable COVID-19 masks. These masks will be sold for ₹6 in the market.
The Jabalpur jail in Madhya Pradesh has been producing masks for ₹ 7. Most jail authorities claim that their masks meet the stringent standards.
Boxing with the virus
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has become the first sports body in India to motivate and coach their boxers during the lockdown. And it is doing it remotely through video-conferencing. This comes after the boxers who were training for the Tokyo Olympics had to return home after the Games were postponed and the announcement of the lockdown.
According to the federation, coaches, doctors, physiotherapists and dieticians will be holding regular teleconferences and video chats with the boxers regarding issues they may be facing and also monitor their training. The coaches, according to the federation, will also hold hour-long talks every day so that the boxers stay motivated.
An isolated coach
The Indian Railways has announced that it will be converting train coaches into isolation wards for coronavirus-affected people. That is first such initiative anywhere in India and perhaps the world.
The North Central Railway (NCR) General Manager Rajiv Chaudhary was quoted by the media as saying said that a coach at the coaching depot in New Delhi is being prepared in consultation with medical professionals.
This can be done on a mass scale if the need arises. We hope that the need may never arise, but it is always good to be prepared for the worst.