Unique banks in Prayagraj lend helping hand to needy during pandemic
Volunteers distribute soaps, sanitary pads and essential cereals. Some devote their time to visiting old and infirm people at their homes
Volunteers of Bharat Scouts and Guides, Prayagraj, have set up unique banks like ‘Soap Bank’, ‘Anaaj Bank’, ‘Sanitary Pad Bank’ and even a ‘Time Bank’ to help the needy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The volunteers of this organisation are distributing soaps, sanitary pads and essential cereals collected by them among the needy. Some, attached to the Time Bank, are devoting their time to visiting old and infirm people at their homes in different villages in close coordination with respective gram pradhans to inquire about their health and needs at a time when many are finding themselves alone and helpless during the pandemic,” said Firoz Alam Khan, an academic resource person with the state’s basic education department, who is the district scout master of Prayagraj.
“There are scouts and guides in almost 665 government-run primary and upper primary schools, besides 185 secondary schools and 30 degree colleges of the district. In these institutions, around 35,000 students are a part of this movement, which is managed by 240 warranted scout masters and 1,400 more scout masters and guide captains. It is these volunteers who are managing and operating these unique banks,” he said.
A part of this mission is Reeta Sharma, a teacher at a government-run primary school at Bighiya in Soraon, who is also a guide captain and in charge of the Time Bank in her area. “These are unprecedented tough times. Through these banks, we are just trying to help those who are most vulnerable,” she explained.
Several needy people are benefiting through these banks that started functioning from May 25. Around 250 bars of soaps have been distributed in the slums of Baihrana and Fakirganj besides 150 sanitary pads and 900 facemasks, as well as essential cereals for a month to around two dozen people. “To run these banks, a collection centre has been set up at the government primary school in Allenganj where all the items are collected and deposited for distribution through these banks,” Reeta said.
District secretary of Bharat Scout and Guide Association Yogesh Chandra Tripathi said, “Different scout and guide masters are leading this mission in their respective areas. So, we have primary school teachers like Akhilesh Kumar in Bahariya, Ram Gopal in Manda, and Satyendra Kumar in Meja heading the Time Bank in their areas, while a teacher at the Upper Primary Government School in Jugnideeh, Holagarh’s Brijesh Yadav and Dhunupur’s Manoj Maurya are managing the same in their areas.”