Bibhash Deva Nath a volunteer of Assam Cares Migrant Outreach Programme taking calls of stranded citizens at his residence in Rangia of Kamrup district

Apart from the frontline corona warriors, over 800 students of Assam are acting as volunteers of Assam Cares Migrant Outreach Programme to provide round the clock assistance to the stranded Assamese across the nation and abroad.

These students from Assam Engineering College, Cotton University among some other institutes are working from their homes as corona warriors whose efforts in the virtual world have remained out of focus.

A volunteer, Bibhash Deva Nath, who is a student of Assam Engineering College said, “After stranded citizens give a missed call to the helpline number, they receive a SOS form to fill their names but many of them fail to fill the form and in that case we call them collect their personal details, bank account details for the aid from the government. I am happy to help them.”

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Another volunteer, Kumar Shivam who is a student of Cotton University said, “I personally take more than 40 calls everyday and majority of them belong to poor and humble background and are not tech savy so I help them in filling the forms and I am happy to be part of this mission.”

Another student volunteer, Raj Pritam Gupta, of Assam Engineering College said, “Our online classes are being held but I don’t repent missing them as I am part of this noble cause which is not only aiding people in this trying times but have also created a database of Assam residents staying abroad.”

Salim Malik, a native of Baihata Charali of Kamrup district who is a working professional in Bangalore said, “I have received an amount of Rs 2000 after registering myself through the dedicated helpline. I want to thank Assam government for such a gesture and token of love in these trying times.”

While another working professional Afsana Alam, a native of Udalguri who works in Ahmedabad said, “I am yet to get any financial aid though I applied through the helpline.”

The Assam government as a part of the effort has credited Rs 2000 each in the bank accounts of as many as 86,000 migrant workers from the State, who have been stranded in other states amid the ongoing nationwide lockdown.

Assam health minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma who is personally monitoring the project has termed it ‘one of the largest’ such outreach programme compared to other states.

Assam government have also paid Rs two crores to over 800 cancer patients stranded in Mumbai and other parts of the nation through the outreach programme.

Sources said these 86,000 people are among the 99,758 people found eligible for cash relief after the government processed 4,29,851 calls for help and 2,28,126 applicants who had filled up the e-form through the dedicated helpline.

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: itsshajidkhan@gmail.com