Sabitri comes out with Covid awareness message

Sabitri Hembrom

It was drizzling in the afternoon of 29 July. A female emitted from a microphone installed on a battery-run auto-rickshaw beside the land office of Rajshahi’s Poba upazila. It announced, “Wear masks, stay safe,” “Don’t fear coronavirus, we will conquer it.”

This was the voice of Sabitri Hembrom, daughter of retired district cooperative officer Shurja Hembrom, from Rajshahi city’s East Horgram area. Sabitri’s mother, Sumila Tudu is the president of Jatiya Adivasi Parishad’s Rajshahi city unit. Sabitri completed her post-graduation on economics from Rajshahi College in 2018.

Since the beginning of coronavirus pandemic, Sabitri has been going village to village with awareness messages, trying to make people aware about health issues and the use of masks. She also distributes mask and helps children develop a habit of washing hands.

And Sabitri has got several people -- Prashant Minj, Lina Minj, Elio Mardi, Farzana Tinni and police member Samuel Hasda -- to work with her as volunteers.

On 29 July Sabitri relayed the awareness message to a group of students who gathered in front of a school in Santoshpur in the afternoon. She spoke of child marriage too and distributed masks and soap among them.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Sabitri said she has been doing this work since the beginning of coronavirus although it had been disrupted for a while.

She has already gone to the remote area of Poba and Godagari upazilas. She visit Nabaibattala, Nimghutu, Haldibuna, Andharkota, Gopalpur, Minapur, Bhugroil, Santoshpur and Darshanpara villages more. She goes to a village after every few days making PA announcements from the auto-rickshaw.

Sabitri is involved in several voluntary organisations. She is the founding president of Rahala Rimil Dance Group, volunteer of United Nations Development Programme, president of Rudo Youth Group and vice-president of Indigenous Student Council.

Sabitri said the courage to work during coronavirus has come from her involvement in voluntary organisations and she has been bearing all the related expenses on her own.

This report appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Hasanul Banna