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Assam government is mulling to reach out to students, citizens of the State to facilitate their return by implementing an outreach program and helpline numbers with the help of a team of dedicated volunteers.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic and possible extension of lockdown till April 30 next, the State Government is endeavouring to reach out to the Assamese people stranded in various parts of the nation and abroad.

The government is working to start a project entitled ‘Assam Cares Migrant Outreach Program’ wherein more than 150 volunteers who are students of Assam Engineering College have been roped in.

Also read: Lockdown-hit Northeast’s outstation students seek state governments’ support

They are currently undergoing training through video conferencing for the successful accomplishment of the project where efforts would be made for registration of such citizens and create a database.

A source informed that the volunteers are being trained to handle the people with utmost diligency and care wherein they will be required to record the citizens  travel history, medical history, any symptoms of COVID-19 , financial status among others.

“We will also offer free tele-counselling for people experiencing mental stress and anxiety during this emergency along with educating them about the epidemic and how to stay safe in these tough times,” said a volunteer who is undergoing training, on condition of anonymity.

“The stranded people who are interested in returning to Assam would reach us through helplines and dedicated websites and call centres have been hosted for the purpose and students of Assam Engineering College have been roped in as volunteers and undergoing necessary training for the purpose,” said Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Earlier Himanta also said anyone coming to Assam from other states or countries will have to go for quarantine for a period of 14 days.

As per sources there are at least 5,000 people from Assam stranded outside who after registration through the outreach program will be provided with permits after the lockdown is lifted.

Shajid Khan

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