Seeing the current scenario and emergence of COVID-19 as a new disease, ZMQ is working on series of digital stories to give right information to masses, especially communities living in vulnerable circumstances. There has been lot of information circulating around awareness but there is hardly anything focused towards vulnerable and poor communities like slums, wage workers and rural communities who are under threat to face the biggest impact due to COVID-19. ZMQ is developing a series of Digital Stories on COVID-19 using Behaviour Change Communication to create awareness among communities on COVID especially marginalized communities.
Some of the objectives of the program are:
1. To provide appropriate information and communication to most vulnerable communities; and build their knowledge to take timely precautions to avoid getting infected with COVID-19;
2. To build healthy behaviors in the vulnerable community to mitigate the disease early and practice healthy habits and breaking the social norms;
3. To conduct self-symptomatic screening for timely detection, notification, referral and diagnosis of the disease which leads to timely treatment hence to ‘Save Lives’;
4. To influence policy makers and providing them with customized communication & information to address issues around COVID-19 for vulnerable communities thus taking them steps to introduce innovative approaches to fight COVID-19. Some of the approaches can be introducing schemes, upgrading facilities, resetting community structures, social mobilization and many more; and
5. To finally create a ‘Universal Digital Resource Center’ on COVID-19 which will be community specific, multi-regional, multi-lingual and to serve as repository of information for communities using digital technologies & tools like Digital Stories, Social Mobile Games, eLearning Platforms and Training tools on prevention, identification, tracking, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
Currently, we are working in the rural district of Mewat where we have 40% of men work as truck drivers and rest 60% work as farmers. Besides this we will work in the urban slums of Jahangirpuri in Delhi where 85% of the population are migrant workers. As a model, this will be scaled in other slums and rural areas. The program is being implemented in the following ways:
1. Design and Develop customized and context specific Digital Stories for communities on Transmission, Identification, Precautions & Preventive measures to be taken to avoid contracting COVID-19;
2. Conduct community based workshops to understand in-depth about COVID-19 and its related challenges being faced by the vulnerable communities to build effective social and behavior change communication;
3. Dissemination of the Digital stories through various modes such as :
A. Community based networks like MIRA workers, ASHAs, Coordinators, Frontline Health Workers, Volunteers, Village Champions, Transgender etc;
B. Social Mobilization such as Community sessions with villagers, women groups, children, slums dwellers, migrant communities, Self Help Groups, School sessions, MIRA Theatres etc;
C. Social media platforms like Community Radio Stations, YouTube Channels, Mobile App Stores, FM Radio, Bill boards etc. for promotion and dissemination of digital content and tools on COVID-19.