Mumbai: ‘Aavishkar Centre for Self Enrichment’ has launched a free helpline for supporting Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Paramedics and other healthcare workers on Covid duties to support them with any emotional distress they might be experiencing. The last 16 months of the pandemic have been tough for the frontline healthcare workers; and the second wave pushed the limits of the healthcare infrastructure, creating additional emotional distress for these Covid Warriors.
Speaking during the launch, Dr. Nirmala Rao, Director, Aavishkar Center said, “Watching the news helplessly over the past year, I was feeling bad about the conditions under which healthcare workers are functioning, there was a growing urgency to do something to help. Focusing on my own skillsets and what I have to offer, I considered the idea of what could be done. Since counselling is my forte, and knowing many others would also wish to help out, I floated this idea of starting a helpline.”
The helpline’s objective is to provide a platform for healthcare Covid Warriors to vent out, share their experiences, worries & frustration; and gain support through the patient and caring ears lent by the volunteers! Through this helpline, the callers will receive support, feeling understood, receiving an empathetic and non-judgmental space, helping them gain a humane contact in these times of isolation.
The initiative is supported by MediaMedic Communications – a healthcare communications agency. Mr. Dinesh Chindarkar, Co-founder at MediaMedic Communications said, “When Dr. Nirmala Rao sounded this idea, me and my team wanted to support this wholeheartedly. We gave the technical support for the call-center set-up and our Digital team is reaching a larger healthcare audience segment and effectively using Social media to propagate the message across the country.”
The contact number for this free helpline is 9172284386 and it operates between 4pm & 7pm from Monday to Saturday. Considering the multiplicity of languages, the helpline is currently being offered in 10 languages (Hindi, Marathi, English, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, & Bengali). Supported by a team of around 80 volunteers trained by Dr. Nirmala Rao herself, ‘Care for Covid Warriors’ seeks to offer selfless service to the frontline workers in these tough times.
Dr Nirmala Rao, the brain behind this initiative is looking to reach a larger audience. As more people become aware of this initiative and step-up to volunteer, the idea is to scale up this service as per the needs of callers – by increasing number of hours, number of lines, etc.