The Srinagar district administration Friday launched a two-week-long training programme for service providers to sensitise them about precautions they need to follow for personal safety, production and distribution of food items, products and service delivery.
Deputy commissioner, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary launched the first module of the training programme designed for more than 500 workers of around 180 bakeries in Srinagar city.
Experts and senior officers who were present in the programme sensitised the participants about their respective fields and the need to follow all relevant guidelines and precautions in order to ensure containment of spread of coronavirus infection while going about their business.
Speaking on the occasion, the DC said the existence of coronavirus pandemic is a reality and that people will have to learn to live with it while following all precautions.
He said this training programme which is one of a series of such initiatives of the district administration will be conducted during the next month or so. It is aimed sensitising the people about precautions and the need to follow them, he said, adding that all main services providers will be trained about precautions, hygiene, social distancing and other notified protocols during the programmes.
It is notable that the bakery sector has been chosen for opening in view of the upcoming Eid festival. The sector follows Parimpora Mandi where 100% testing was done and is now slated for expansion vis-a-vis distribution network in the city.
During the training programme the stakeholders were sensitised about the need to adopt safety procedures and follow advisories issued in this regard. It was informed that bakers will be tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to proceed.
It should be noted that for Eid festival respective bakers will home-deliver required items to consumers in their jurisdictions.
The operation of bakeries will be strictly conducted in a professional, safe and hygienic framewok. Bakers have been instructed to only sell packed products and to avoid loose bakery items.
D Shahid also urged the general public to adhere to social distancing norms and personal hygiene as a part of routine to be adopted to survive the pandemic.
He said the administration has roped in print and electronic media and has also invited NGOs, Universities and other organisations as stakeholders in public awareness, training and capacity building for planning a safe exit from lockdown without loosing focus on the fight against pandemic.
Community Medicine and Public Health experts Dr Saleem Khan and Dr Rabbani Tariq delivered a lecture on module on precautions to be adopted during production and manufacturing of items, safety and hygiene, packaging, dispatch and distribution.
Additional Deputy Commissioners Sajjad Qadri and Fayaz Parra spoke on administrative framework, support system, monitoring, quality checks, packaging and pricing.
The officers informed that all bakers are being provided free PPE kits for their workers mainly involved in manufacturing and delivery of bakery.
It should be noted that a dedicated team of officials has been constituted by the Deputy Commissioner for facilitating stakeholders in production and delivery of items. For areas notified as red zones a special set of measures have been put in place to ensure smooth service n this regard.
The President of the Bakers Association Srinagar expressed gratitude to the district administration for this novel initiative designed to ensure public safety.
Meanwhile, the Srinagar district administration plans to train more than 10 thousand service providers during the next one month. This will go alongside gradual opening of select sectors while keeping the focus on public health aspects of the pandemic.
These programmes are being organised for a host of important service providers including vegetable vendors, milk suppliers, hair dressers, laundry, public transport, telecommunications, housekeeping among other services.
Training modules for each of these sectors have been worked out jointly by community health experts, administrators, stakeholders, relevant organisations and citizen representatives.
Each of these modules include a range of aspects including training certificates to participants, PPE kits, protective gear, COVID-19 tests, specially designed service tokens, movement passes, IT Apps and online facilitation. The District Disaster Management Authority or DDMA Srinagar is spearheading this flagship initiative which is aimed at a guarded exit from the ongoing lockdown.