CHANDIGARH: On the occasion of the ‘International Youth Day’, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday launched the distribution of sports kits to Rural and Urban Corona Volunteers who rendered outstanding services in support of the state government’s fight against the second wave of the pandemic.

In a symbolic launch, he himself distributed sports kits to 10 volunteers from his official residence.

Interacting with the youth, the Chief Minister appreciated their efforts in creating awareness amongst the residents about the significance of health protocols and vaccination to check the further spread of the Coronavirus.

Regretting the unfortunate loss of nearly 16, 000 lives due to Covid in Punjab, he said the toll could have been higher had it not been for the active participation of youth, especially during the second wave, in sensitizing the people to go for immediate treatment, and later convincing them to get vaccinated.

The Chief Minister urged the volunteers to continue their campaign for educating people in view of an impending third wavem given the spurt in cases in several states and in countries like the US.

Lauding the efforts of the Youth Services department, Captain Amarinder Singh said that the initiative for giving sports kits to youth would further encourage them to take up sports activities in a big way, and to be inspired by the players who won accolades in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympic Games.

On the occasion, Sports & Youth Services Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi requested the Chief Minister to preside over the mega youth conference, expected to be held in September-October when the Covid situation further improves, in order to motivate the youth to channelize their energies constructively. A marathon with participation of over 1.5 lac youth is also planned, in view of the highly encouraging response from the earlier marathon participated by nearly 1 lac youth in March 2019, he added.

Earlier in his welcome address, Principal Secretary Sports and Youth Services, Raj Kamal Chaudhary, said that the Corona warrior groups had been very helpful in eradication and control of Corona in Punjab, with door-to-door campaigning to create awareness against the misconceptions and rumours about vaccination, besides assisting the medical teams in identifying Covid patients.

Director Sports & Youth Services, DPS Kharbanda, said that the department, under the guidance of the Deputy Commissioners and in consultation with the local MPs and MLAs, had so far formed 14, 236 such groups across the State (i.e. 11, 881 RCVs groups and 2355 UCVs groups). The groups, comprising seven volunteers each in every village and Municipal ward, are assisting the health volunteers in the vaccination drive, besides
Educating the local population on preventive measures regarding the Covid-19 virus.

All the volunteers present in the meeting briefly shared their experiences and also gave suggestions for tackling the third wave.

Prominent among others present on the occasion were Social Security and Women and Child Development Minister Aruna Chaudhary, MLA Sultanpur Lodhi Navtej Singh Cheema and Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh.

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