COVID-19: ESM Rise to Occasion with Motto of ‘Service Before Self’

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New Delhi: As the nation continues to fight the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW), Ministry of Defence (MoD) has taken the initiative to mobilise services of Ex-Servicemen (ESM) community as a part of augmentation of precious human resource to assist the State and District administration, wherever required.

Rajya Sainik Boards, Zila Sainik Boards are playing a dynamic role in identifying and mobilising maximum ESM volunteers to assist the State and District Administration in performing public outreach activities such as contact tracing, community surveillance, management of quarantine facilities or any such tasks assigned to them.

It is heartening to note the ESM across the country have risen to the occasion of ‘Service before Self’ at a time when nation has made a clarion call and need them to fight this unique challenge. Ex-Servicemen are disciplined, motivated and well trained to operate in adverse situations and they have pan-India presence in all the districts and villages across the country.

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In the state of Punjab, an organisation called ‘Guardians of Governance’ comprising 4,200 ESM are assisting in data collection from all the villages. Chhattisgarh government has employed some ESM to assist the police. Similarly in Andhra Pradesh all the District Collectors have asked for ESM volunteers. In Uttar Pradesh, all Zila Sainik Kalyan Adhikaris are in touch with District Control Rooms and retired Army Medical Corps personnel have been identified and kept ready.

In addition, Sainik Rest Houses are being readied in Uttarakhand to act as isolation or quarantine Centres if need arises. In Goa, a control room has been established and ESM have been asked to remain on standby for any assistance to the local administration.

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