As the world grapples to fight off the Novel Coronavirus, it has now become everyone’s responsibility to be mindful of the basic hygiene and adhere to them strictly. Chintan’s response towards the spread of COVID-19 has been developed to keep away from community transmission of this disease and save as many lives as possible. One such response action has been training approximately 1,500 wastepickers’ children to take precautions to wash hands repeatedly with soap and to maintain social distancing. They are also being trained to upcycle old cotton clothes and make them into handkerchiefs. Old cotton clothes are cleaned and then fashioned into handkerchiefs for the people to reuse. These trainings are being conducted across all Chintan’s 18 informal learning centers to reach maximum people.
These kids, from ages 4-14 years studying at Chintan’s informal learning centres for children of wastepickers, are now spearheading the campaign against the spread of this disease within their own waste picking communities and families and making sure that people avoid crowded places as much as they can, and to maintain basic hygiene as much as possible. The children are also holding demonstrations within their communities, with not more than 10 people in total, and are depicting the correct way to wash hands during these times. One such demonstration was held in Sihani, Ghaziabad (India), in which the children spread awareness on precautions and asked the members to take as many precautions as they can to stop the spread of this highly contagious disease.
Observing basic hygiene diligently, 10-year-old Riya from Dallupura learning center said” I wash my hands till elbow and use cotton hankie. These are small steps to be safe”. Similarly, Sonam an 11 year old girl from Dallupura (India) put a call to raise awareness so that we can stop the virus to spread.