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School children join fight against coronavius, spray disinfectants in Rampura

  • Published at 10:54 am March 22nd, 2020
School students spray anti-germ disinfects to low income people in Rampura
A student seen spraying disinfectants while driver of a CNG driven three wheeler wearing mask at Rampura on Saturday, March 22, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

However, it was witnessed that these school children only had masks to protect themselves while they were on the streets disinfecting others

At a time when many in Bangladesh are stockpiling essentials in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, a group of school students in Dhaka’s Rampura have come forward to join the country’s fight against the deadly pandemic.

Comprising 10th graders from different schools, the group was seen spraying disinfectants on vehicles such as rickshaws, CNG run vehicles, covered vans, and other vehicles, at the Wapda area of Rampura on Saturday.

Under the supervision of Medha Foundation, the youngsters were also seen raising awareness on Covid-19 among the locals and providing hand sanitizers to vehicle drivers and low-income people to keep them safe from the outbreak.

“We do not have much money, so what? We can do it all together. We saved from the money we got for tiffin and other costs and made a fund together, and used it to buy these disinfectants and tools,” said Rafia Rafa, a 10th grader from Viqarunnisa Noon School and College.

Citing the inability of poor people to avail sanitizers, which are now largely unavailable and costly too, she said the little initiative by the students can make more people aware and may save many more lives.

Afra Anjum, a 10th grader from Ideal School and College, said many people are visiting different places while some went to their village homes despite a government directive to stay indoors.   

A student seen spraying disinfectants on a rickshaws at the Wapda area of Rampura on March 22, 2020 | Dhaka Tribune“But since this is a moment of crisis, I have decided to work for people by providing these free of cost services to the city dwellers,” she said.

However, it was witnessed that these school children only had masks to protect themselves while they were on the streets disinfecting others.

When asked whether they were concerned over their own security from the viral infection, Mohsin Iram, a student of the same school, said as students, they did not have enough money to buy personal protective equipment (PPE) for themselves. 

“Since we are doing this with our own fund, we have only managed to buy these tools and disinfectants,” he said.

“If we do not start, no one will come forward,” said Iram, who had to convince her mother to allow her  to come out in the streets to do the job.

“If everyone takes up the responsibility to keep their own areas clean, the spread of coronavirus will go down," he added.

The group’s leader SA Mahmuud, who is also a teacher and owner of Medha Foundation, said all 10 students in the group are willingly doing this service.

“Because of the inability to buy PPEs, we have ordered 10 temporary aprons to use for our protection," he said.

According to him, 10 students divided in two groups – one in Wapda and another in Bagichartec slum – have been working in this regard. 

We do plan to provide soaps to all rickshaw pullers throughout this initiative that will continue till March 31, he added.

Bangladesh has so far recorded 24 infections and two deaths from Covid-19, a pandemic announced by the World Health Organization.

More than 274,800 people have been infected across the world and 11,389 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

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