‘We are here to save and serve you’: MCC Commissioner Shilpa Nag shares her work experiences with the community
Coronavirus Update, Feature Articles

‘We are here to save and serve you’: MCC Commissioner Shilpa Nag shares her work experiences with the community

May 25, 2021
  • Please shelve COVID- inappropriate behaviour
  • Get yourself tested as soon as you get symptoms
  • Call Telecare facility for counselling, guidance on  Ph:2420112 / 2420113
  • Follow all Government guidelines

Even as images of endless burning pyres are flashed across the country accompanied by desperate social media messages frantically seeking hospital beds, oxygen concentrators and cylinders in other cities including Bengaluru, Namma Mysuru is relatively calm. After a few stressful days in mid-April where the COVID graph had moved north amidst panic, increased death rate and shortage of hospital beds or oxygen or queues to cremate the dead, the situation seems to have come under control now though the daily deaths and COVID-positive rate have only seen a marginal decrease. 

Still, the effort of the Mysuru District Administration and the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC)  is commendable. Especially, the MCC that is always on its toes with its daily routine and certain innovative schemes like COVID Mitra, decentralised COVID management, Telecare and Door-to-door health survey with the involvement of Corporators, MCC officers and staff. Leading the team is IAS Officer and MCC Commissioner Shilpa Nag, who had been the Commissioner earlier too, albeit for a short stint. In an interview to Star of Mysore amidst her tight schedule during Covid times, Shilpa Nag spoke on wide-ranging issues and her underlying point is: “We are here to help, save and serve you.” —Excerpts:

Star of Mysore (SOM): We have written about many MCC schemes that have helped in COVID control. Can you explain the other measures taken by the Corporation to tackle the more deadly second wave? 

Shilpa Nag: This strain of virus is more infectious and spreads very fast. We acted swiftly and decisively. The entire MCC machinery including Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Corporators of all 65 Wards, officers and staff are putting in their best efforts in their respective jurisdiction and in all nine MCC Zones. Markets where there is crowding have been closed and at Santhepet, only one side of shops are allowed to be opened per day. We have closed the shops on Aane Sarot Road (Boti Bazar) following complaints from public regarding crowding and lack of social distancing. All Wards have been sanitised and sprayed with virus-control solutions and gasses. These are all daily affairs. 

SOM: What are the innovative programmes implemented by the MCC?

Shilpa Nag: As soon as the second wave hit Mysuru, the main challenge was to control the virus spread, minimise deaths and also save lives. When the death reports were scanned and death audit was done, it was observed that many patients reached hospitals at the last stage. Even doctors were giving us the same feedback. In the last stage, it was a combination of deterioration of health, breathlessness, panic and unavailability  of ICUs and beds. This led to many deaths and the concept of COVID Mitra where the patient walks in as soon as getting symptoms was launched. 

This initiative was given wide publicity and three main COVID Mitra centres were opened first and later the 21 Primary Health Centres were converted into mini COVID Mitras. This proved a success and now, we have opened two more COVID Mitras at Dattagalli and Vijayanagar Fourth Stage for the convenience of people from Chamundeshwari Constituency. We now have 26 COVID Mitras and this has brought laurels to Mysuru at national-level.

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SOM: With the establishment of COVID Mitra, has the pressure on beds decreased?

Shilpa Nag: Yes, definitely. Earlier, there was a daily walk-in of 30 to 60 persons and this has increased to 100 where patients are triaged and in case there is necessity of hospitalisation, they are referred to COVID War Room and hospitalised with an efficient bed management system. Ward-level Task Force have been set up at all the 65 Wards and they are doing door-to-door survey to identify COVID-infected. This has also helped identify the infected persons and provide them medical care. Oxygen levels and temperature are checked and in case there is a difference in the norm, they are taken to mini COVID Mitras for check-up and treatment. Timely isolation and timely testing, is absolutely necessary. 

SOM: What about people who are put on home isolation? 

Shilpa Nag: For those who are in home isolation, it is important to boost their confidence and mental strength along with medication that is provided through home isolation kits. Along with Mysuru Citizens Forum and Rotary, a Telecare facility has been set up where over 70 doctors including 40 Kannadiga doctors from abroad are offering free consultation, counselling and guidance. Dedicated phone numbers have been allotted so that people can call without any inhibitions. 

Post-COVID centres will be opened for patients who come out of the hospitals so that they can recuperate. Measures like Micro Triage based on the principle of decentralisation and Reverse Isolation or Reverse Quarantine are also being taken up. Under Micro Triage, the entire COVID tackling system will be decentralised and move to micro level where MCC is targeting over 70 to 80 Apartments and Group Housing Complexes along with industry clusters where people will be screened at doorsteps and further advice is given. 

SOM: Your message to Mysureans during the trying times.

Shilpa Nag: We are striving hard to protect Mysureans from COVID and all of us are risking our lives. People must understand that we are doing this for larger public good. All the Government guidelines must be followed strictly. The District Administration, Doctors, Nurses,  MCC, Police, Healthcare workers, Health Department and Pourakarmikas are striving to make Mysuru COVID-free. You also have the responsibility of saving yourself and your family. If you see any symptoms, get tested immediately without waiting. Unnecessary movement, grouping together and COVID-inappropriate behaviour must be shelved.

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‘I find my work immensely satisfying’

I feel proud to serve people in this crisis of the century and this is the best time to serve the community. In IAS, more than what top position I serve, it is important to realise in what way I can serve the people better. I have found immense satisfaction in my work and I sleep with a clear conscience that I have done my best to serve the masses. — Shilpa Nag, MCC Commissioner

‘My son knows my professional commitments’ 

Shilpa Nag has a 14-year-old son (Hrishikesh) at home and as she is on the field amidst the virus scare, she keeps away from her loving son. “I set out from home at 6.30 am and reach back at 10.30 pm. My son spends his free time playing with his pet dog and our staff and driver speak to him with lots of love and affection. My son knows my professional commitments and he is very understanding. Every day as I enter the house, he makes it a point to ask me whether I have  had my lunch and dinner,” she said. 

Shilpa Nag, IAS

Shilpa Nag is a 2014 batch IAS Officer hailing from Hassan District. Born to Naganna-Padmavathi couple on Mar. 10, 1984 in Bengaluru, she completed her degree in Journalism, English and Psychology and got her MBA degree from Christ College. She went on to pursue Post-Graduation in Bangalore University. After clearing her Civil Services exam, she served as Assistant Commissioner of Kundapur, CEO of Haveri Zilla Panchayat and Director of Abdul Nazeer Sab State Institute of Rural Development, Mysuru. She has also served as Assistant Commissioner in Indian Revenue Service and Customs and Central Excise.

Empathy and Compassion IAS Association pats Shilpa Nag

The photograph of Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Commissioner Shilpa Nag hugging and consoling Kamala, mother of MCC employee Ravi, who passed away recently due to COVID, has got national recognition with the IAS Association posting it on its twitter handle highlighting the empathy shown by the IAS Officer.

“Empathy and Compassion are part of being a civil servant. Ms Shilpa Nag, #[email protected]_Mys, Commissioner, Mysuru City Corporation with frontline workers and their families impacted by #COVID19. #Rolemodel”, tweeted the Association on May 23.

Now, the photo has been shared on various social networking sites and has received appreciation for the compassion shown by the MCC Commissioner.

This photo was published in Star of Mysore dated May 21 along with the news item titled “Compassion and Concern: MCC distributes cheques to deceased employees’ families.”

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