Barisha Dkhar (named changed) is a teacher from Mawthadraishan, West Khasi Hills Meghalaya. She is a woman leader and a Master Trainer associated with the NEN-SEWA project “Response to COVID-19”. As a Master Trainer, she has contributed in tackling the pandemic by reaching out to women through telecommunications to spread awareness regarding the COVID 19 Pandemic on home care and precautions, psychosocial care, gender-based violence and sexual & reproductive health and rights.
She has taken an active role in her community in combating the virus as a member of the team that is preparing quarantine centres for the returnees. Along with such preparation, she is also sensitizing people on the effect of Lockdown on them and created awareness on communicating accurate information, countering rumours and stigmatization, and most importantly not relying on every bit of news received through social media.
She also reached out and assisted people whose family members returned or are expected to return by providing information on the ways to connect and coordinate with concerned authorities, along with regulations of the dos and don’ts for referral care.
She says that the training sessions have helped broaden her own knowledge about the Pandemic. They have made her realized that the Lockdown has caused an urgent need for psychosocial care and basic mental health services as the spread of rumours and inaccurate information are fuelling the rise in fear, anxiety and stigma across the community, state, country and in the world. She also addressed the issues of early marriage and domestic violence by having lively interactive sessions with the community participants using the Pandemic and the threat to public health as an entry point.