*NIC, Ranchi office staff working 24X7 to address grievances of people online on the 6th floor, Ranchi DC's office, Block A

Jharkhand's district of Ranchi, where over 68 percent of the population has an internet connection, is Coronavirus epicenter.

With three dead and over 172 declared COVID -19 positive, when another person gets infected-as it does almost every day when a test is conducted and its report made public-the COVID suspects and their family members need help.

Toward this end, many health-care professionals, police, journalists and home delivery agents have done excellent work. They have been widely praised, and rightly so, for continuing to serve them. But the pandemic also has unsung heroes, who have played a starring role in supporting the fight against corona.

Consider the admirable work done by 45-staff of Ranchi Collectorate under the technical guidance and software support from the Government of India's National Informatics Centre (NIC), Ranchi district unit. It is headed by their District Informatics Officer S.C.Banerjee.

They have been working 24X7 in three-shifts-7am-2 pm; 2 pm-10 pm; and 10 pm-7 am-right since Janata Curfew was enforced on  March 22.

Anticipating mega challenge ahead, Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Rai Mahimapat Ray acted quickly. He directed Mr. Banerjee on March 22-the day of Janata curfew. The action followed the same day when Bannlerjee is learnt to have spent late-night inside his office to set up a team and established 1950 single toll-free helpline no. to help Ranchi citizens 24X7.

Soon, NIC, Ranchi district unit designed, developed a Web Application and established 32 channels PRI connection with 7 telephone lines to take maximum calls simultaneously for the entire district administration and provided online service through 1950(24X7) COVID Help Line.

It helps citizens gain information as well as get their grievances addressed through its 'COVID Complaint Management System'.This System captures grievances through the web-based portal and provides a category-wise report to officials of different departments about COVID Test Centre on a minute -to -minute basis.

More, even grievances connected with covid suspects, shelter homes, law and order, Daal Bhat Kendras of the state government where food was served to people free of cost, PDS shop details, Grocery, LPG delivery and health-related problems were addressed online.

Records show that NIC's high tech staff in Jharkhand capital city received nearly 700-800 calls every day and more than 300 WhatsApp messages and emails from different district level and block level officials and citizens. 

As the day of lock downtime passed, the number of services to citizens increased. Now, it is also helping citizens get e-pass, COVID related reports through SMS and arogya setu mobile app related technical help.

Notably, with his small team of the online registration of calls and grievances of the callers were recorded by Call Centre Operators at its control room."By getting online application, the message is quickly passed on to flying squad(police-doctors)teams to address the grievances of callers", said Banerjee, who has performed brilliantly in these unprecedented days of coronavirus lockdown.      

Another praiseworthy work done by him is that under his conceptualized platform -a COVID Chatbot support -was added in NIC Ranchi district website- https://ranchi.nic.in/covid .

COVID Chatbot facilitates citizens to conduct an on-line chat conversation via text queries and helped them round the clock. 

An inquiry revealed that Chatbot support provides as follows. 1.All helpline nos.2. Mental Helpline.3.Live chat.4.Senior Citizen Helpline.5.Food Helpline.6.Grocery Helpline.7.Essential Goods Helpline.8.Doctors Helpline.

Among those who played a key role included AIDO Anupama Mondal, Programmer Uma Shankar Mishra, Network Engineer Bhawesh Chandra and Sidharth Shekhar.

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