The umbrella sheds at Aalo, West Siang. Image: Northeast Now
The umbrella sheds at Aalo, West Siang. Image: Northeast Now

In an innovative method to enforce social distancing, one Dr Jumge Padu of West Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh has erected around 53 umbrellas sheds in front of the Aalo branch of State Bank of India to help customers visiting the bank mitigate the harsh summer weather.

Aalo, the district headquarters of West Siang is around 370 km from here.

Dr Padu is an active COVID-19 warrior and his innovative step has been supported by the Kibom Old Age Welfare Society (KOAWS), a local NGO and M/s International Diagnostic Centre, a pharmacy in Aalo town.

“Following the relaxation of lockdown norms with Arunachal falling under the green zone, scores of restless customers started to visit the SBI on a daily basis which was making it difficult for the authorities concerned to regulate the people standing in the queue.,” officials said.

“One being asked by the district administration to contain the same through an innovative method, Dr Padu promptly responded with the umbrella sheds,” officials added.

The shed is not only helping the authorities maintain proper social distancing, but also gives comfort to the people from the humid weather and if in case it rains.

The shed is being regulated by volunteers of the KOAWS and there are separate entry and exits for male and female customers.

West Siang deputy commissioner Swetika Sachan who visited the site on Monday was all praises for Dr Padu and the KOAWS.

Besides erecting the umbrella sheds, Dr Padu has also been instrumental in imparting training to various self-help groups in different villages on making hand-stitched masks.

This effort of his has richly helped the West Siang unit of Arunachal Pradesh Doctor’s Association (APDA) on its ‘Masks for all’ campaign.

‘Masks for All’ is a mask distribution campaign, initiated by the APDA through which it has distributed thousands of face masks to the people across the state free of cost.

Dr Padu who is a medical officer of Yomcha primary health centre is currently working with the team of Aalo general hospital in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: