INDIA: Counselor from Don Bosco School Alaknanda receives award for her support to police personnel impacted by COVID-19
(MissionNewswire) Anjali Tresa Veliath, a counselor at Don Bosco School Alaknanda, located in New Delhi, India, was awarded a certificate of appreciation by Police Commissioner S.N. Shrivastava, IPS, for her extraordinary and dedicated service in providing COVID-19 counseling to Delhi police personnel.
As India went to a total lockdown, there was chaos and the Delhi police worked to safeguard people during this challenging time. While dealing with the community, many police personnel were infected with the coronavirus. To provide psychological support to their staff members at this hour of crisis, police officials reached out to institutions and organizations for help. A team of 23 committed and qualified psychologists and counselors, supported by psychiatrists and doctors, took up the challenge, aiming for “Wellness for Delhi Police.”
Veliath holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology and was approached by Sakhi John from Distress Management Collective India, who asked for her support. She was more than happy to help and started her work in May, reaching out and providing support to each person she was assigned.
Veliath said, “Initially it was a bit difficult for me as I found that many weren’t ready to get counseling support. But slowly I managed to win them over. I have given psychological support and solace to more than 200 police personnel.”
Throughout the counseling sessions, Veliath came to learn many had a fear of death as they were scared by the news of the shocking fatality rates from countries like Italy, Spain and the United States. Many were impacted by the isolation brought about by the quarantine. Veliath also found many police personnel were afraid to reach out for help because they felt they would be stigmatized by having contracted coronavirus. This fear made many conceal their COVID-19 positive status from their family members.
Veliath added, “Never have I experienced anything like the impact of COVID-19. These counseling sessions with patients were different because it was more crisis management, and the effort was more the mitigation of fear. I had to do it on war-footing as there were many people to be addressed in a single day.”
Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care. During the pandemic, Salesians have stepped up to help families in need with food, hygiene supplies, awareness education and more.
Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India. The country, which is home to 1.34 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, it has yet to capitalize on this, leaving some 30 percent of this population without employment, education or training.
India has the world’s fourth-largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
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