Niti Aayog asks NGOs to help COVID-19 relief efforts

RSTV Bureau
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant

Niti Aayog is involving NGOs in the government’s relief measures to tackle the COVID-19 situation.

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has asked 92,000 Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to help in identifying COVID-19 hotspots and delivering services to vulnerable groups.

Kant is currently heading the Empowered Group (EG 6) on coordinating with private sector NGOs and international organisations.

It is one of the 11 Empowered Groups set up to suggest measures to ramp up healthcare, tackle challenges related to economy and provide relief to people.

An official statement said, “CEO Niti Aayog has written to over 92000 NGOs/ CSOs registered on the Darpan portal of Niti Aayog, appealing them to assist the government in identifying hotspots and deputing volunteers and care givers to deliver services to the elderly, persons with disabilities, children, transgender persons, and other vulnerable groups; to create awareness about prevention, social distancing, isolation, and combating stigma; to provide shelter to homeless, daily wage workers, and urban poor families; set up community kitchens for migrants.”

Amitabh Kant also wrote to all Chief Secretaries urging them to instruct the local administration at the district level to utilise the physical and human resources made available by NGOs and civil society organisations

Since its constitution, the Empowered Group has had several meetings with UN agencies, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, industry associations like CII, FICCI, Assocham etc with the focus on ramping up production and procurement of ventilators, PPEs, testing kits and stepping up relief efforts.

EG 6 also held detailed deliberations with 40-plus prominent CSOs and NGOs in different parts of the country and addressed the issues raised by them.

It is working with several start-ups like AgVa, Biodesign Innovation Lab, Kaeaenaat, Qure AIDrona Maps, mFine, MicroGo and Staqu, on innovative ventilator designs, testing tools, and tracking solutions.

Industry representatives have offered their suggestions on public advocacy, philanthropy and, CSR, including running factory kitchens for preparing, distributing free food in coordination with local administration; and providing factory hospitals/ premises/ guest houses as quarantine and shelter facilities.

The Empowered Group also includes Dr Vijayaraghavan, (Principal Scientific Adviser), Kamal Kishore (Member, NDMA); Sandeep Mohan Bhatnagar (Member, CBIC) and senior officials of various ministries.