Updated: May 27, 2021 6:50:08 am
Bengaluru’s civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has trained and deployed 11 women marshals across the city on an experimental basis to enforce Covid-19 norms and help out at care centres.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the BBMP has deployed over 230 male marshals to ensure people are following Covid-19 protocols, including wearing masks and maintaining social distance. The marshals have been briefed to patrol public areas like busy streets and markets.
“We have hired 11 BBMP women marshals for the first time on an experimental basis. They have undergone similar training as male marshals, and will be deployed at select maternity homes, Covid care centres, triaging and stabilisation centres in the city,” Col Rajbir Singh, chief marshal officer, BBMP told IndianExpress.com.
BBMP is also planning to deploy women marshals on ground duty to collect fines from people violating norms, and create awareness about Covid appropriate behaviour.
“This is the first time in the country women marshals have been deployed for Covid-related duties. In Delhi, there are women marshals deployed on buses and other public transport for the safety of women while travelling,” Rajbir Singh said.
Bhavani KG (25), one of the 11 marshals hired by BBMP and deployed at a Covid centre in Mahadevapura, is from a village 5 km from Hoskote. A BA graduate, Bhavani has been trained in the National Cadet Corps (NCC). “I applied for this job as I have always wanted to help people. Since my college days, I have been in NCC, so we are taught that ‘service is our motto’,” she said.
At the Covid care centre, Bhavani collects details of patients, checks their symptoms, gives them proper advice and comfort, and escalates the case based on the patient’s condition to a doctor or nurse. “I start my day at around 7 am and help women patients who come to the centre. I work till 3 pm. I feel proud to help people in these distressing times,” she said.
Another marshal, Jayothi, who is working in Wilson Garden Covid care centre, travels around 10 kilometres everyday from Chickpet to do her duty. “I am proud that I am one of the first batch of women marshals in Bengaluru. We have received proper training from the BBMP to deal with people and help them in the Covid care centre,” she said.
Col Rajbir Singh says the marshals have been successful in implementing Covid norms. “Before the pandemic, marshals were asked to track illegal waste dumping and penalise people. Now, they are successfully implementing Covid norms. Women marshals will also take charge to contain the spread of virus in the city,” he said.
Col Rajbir Singh said many more women were willing to offer their services. “We are starting to see how women marshals can help the city civic body to curb the spread of virus on a trial basis,” he said.
Most of the men marshals are ex-servicemen or people who have been trained in the NCC. They are trained to check for Covid norm violations. Each of them carries a Point of Sale (POS) device to collect fines in the event of a penalty and issue receipts. The marshals draw a monthly salary of Rs 17,000 each, with an additional Rs 1,500 deducted under other heads.
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