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COVID-19: Srinagar NGO ‘Chinar International’ helping locals, non-locals alike

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Srinagar: In the times of Covid-19 pandemic, Chinar International, a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Srinagar has been on the ground providing a helping hand to the locals as well as migrant labourers stranded in Kashmir.

The NGO so far has held multiple relief camps across the valley to distribute essentials and protective gear among people who are at the forefront in fighting COVID-19.

Recently, Chinar International held a mega relief camp for migrants at Tengpora area of Srinagar where scores of the labourers were provided essentials.

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 A similar relief operation was carried out by Chinar International in Parimpora Srinagar as well.

To help people especially poor to deal with the Covid -19, Chinar International devised a strategy by creating awareness among people, holding emergency relief camps across the valley and compensating academic loss to the children.

“The awareness about Covid-19 was done through posters and circulation of videos on social media. Similarly, relief operation continued across the valley where due care was taken of poor and non-locals stranded in Kashmir,” said Irfan Shahmiri, Global Executive Director Chinar International.

 He said Emergency Relief Kits (ERK), a combination of food items and protective gears were distributed among the people to fight Covid-19.

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For women, sanitary pads were provided in different areas to mitigate any health risks.

Chinar International has also setup a helpline which is responding to the distress calls of people. “We receive at least 100-150 distress calls from people each day and every effort is being made to help people,” Shahmiri added.

So far, the NGO has distributed 3,289 kits. 

“The requests come in through our helpline, NGO network, local communities and administration.  Our regular coordination with the DDMA (District Disaster Management Committees), NGOs and local communities helps minimize duplication and better outreach” he said.

“We understand the importance of education for children, which has been impacted since August 6 2019.  Our fast-tracked survey results showed that about 30% of the children had access to smart phones, around 55% have access to regular phones and 15% have access to no phones. After research and testing, we developed strategies for all three categories,” he added. 

“After almost 3 weeks of research and testing, Chinar International started remote education program for students during lockdown period on May 1st. We are facilitating classes through Zoom application, conference bridge calls and WhatsApp,” Shahmiri said.