Business Standard

Sportswoman counsels daily wagers to tide over tough times


Press Trust of India Mumbai
While many athletes are donating

money for poor people affected by the lockdown, an Asian Games silver medalist sailor has come forward to counsel daily wage workers who have been hit hard by curbs imposed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Sweta Shervegar, who is also a homeopathic doctor and currently doing her internship from Yerala Medical College in Navi Mumbai, told PTI that daily wagers, who are out of work and facing difficulties in sustaining their livelihood, need moral support to handle these tough times.
Since her sailing practice has come to a halt due to the lockdown, Shervegar along with some National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers from her college decided to reach out to such workers in Navi Mumbai and help them.
"We got a list of such labourers from one of our contacts and have been providing counselling over phone to a number of daily wagers residing in Rabale, Ghansoli, Kopar Khairane, Turbhe, Nerul (all areas of Navi Mumbai), Mankhurd, Govandi (both suburbs in Mumbai)," said Shervegar, who won the silver medal in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
Shervegar said each member from their group of volunteers speaks to 10 labourers in a day and counsels them to stay strong and not be afraid of the situation.
"We also guide them on how to maintain social distancing, washing hands regularly, avoiding crowds and precautions to be taken while sneezing or coughing," she said.
Shervegar and her friends also taught the labourers how to make cloth masks, she said, adding that they also provide medical counselling to them over phone, if required.
NSS volunteers from various other colleges in Navi Mumbai are also helping Shervegar and her friends in their initiative, said Prashant Thorat, an eye specialist who is also an alumnus of the Yerala Medical College.
"Considering this as a social responsibility, we are counselling the daily wage labourers so that they are not scared of the situation," said Thorat, who also helps daily wagers by conducting their eye tests through a mobile clinic and providing them vision glasses for free.
NSS is a voluntary association of young people, especially college students, which aims to develop students' personality through community service.

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First Published: Apr 29 2020 | 11:26 AM IST

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