The National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science & Technology (DST) has released an information brochure for a recently launched program on health and risk communication ‘Year of Awareness on Science & Health (YASH) with focus on Covid-19’. The brochure carries information on the genesis and need of such a mega program in the country to address the issues of risks, crises, disasters, and uncertainties especially posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The program focuses on enhancing public understanding and awareness of science and health for better preparedness to cope with the present and future challenges.
Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, Department of Science & Technology said that a wide array of programs and activities built around awareness and outreach have been envisaged involving print, electronic, digital, folk and interactive media to reach out to large cross-sections of the society under the campaign. He added that the logo of the YASH program given on the brochure has been designed to create a wave of peace and bliss and depicts a sense of overcoming the situation at large and would act as a harbinger of taking forward the messages of science, health, risk and awareness.
A comprehensive program on health and risk communication with a focus on Covid-19 has been launched because of providing authentic information interestingly and interactively at the grass-root level. The National Health & Risk Communication program has been planned and being implemented in a big way with a mechanism of PAN India presence and reach. State Councils of Science & Technology have been involved. The three major ingredients of the program are software or content development, capacity development, dissemination, and outreach.
The activities are spread over six regions, East, West, North, South, Central, and Northeast. Specialized communication modules are developed depending upon especially marked zones, and networking and training of communicators and volunteers for community health activities would be an advantage. The current scenario of the pandemic caused by Covid-19 has posed concerns and challenges. All around, scientific awareness and health preparedness can play a significant role in helping combat the situation with translation and usage of authentic scientific information and convey the risks involved and facilitate the communities to overcome the situation.
The information brochure highlights a comprehensive and effective science and health communication effort for promoting grass-root level appreciation and response on health and saving and shaping the lives of people at large, building confidence, inculcating a scientific temper and promoting health consciousness among them. The brochure can be downloaded here.