Mst. Sathy Aktar is an activist from Kushtia and the vice-president of Ideal Youth Union. She was studying at Rajshahi University and lived in Rajshahi for her study. When her classes got cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was compelled to return to her native village in Kushtia. At her village, she witnessed how severely the pandemic impacted the livelihood of her family and community people driving many toward unemployment and poverty.
During that crisis period, Sathy felt the urge to do something to fight against this pandemic. That’s why she along with five fellow activists formed a Corona Emergency Response Team. This group worked mainly to break the superstitions on the COVID-19 and vaccination by raising awareness through developing and disseminating several online and offline contents (posters, stickers, videos etc.). They also lobbied with local authorities and different organisations for proper distributions of masks, food and hygiene packages among marginalised families and actively volunteered in the distribution process as well.
This group come forward at the time of need to raise the demands of their community people to the duty bearers and stakeholders (such as setting up washing points at public places and institutions, markings at public places for social distance, marking the COVID-19 patient houses with red flag for identification and food distribution to them, rapid test at Mirpur Upazila Health Complex, availability of oxygen cylinders and oximeters at union level) and voluntarily worked with authorities to ensure better services for her community people.
This group’s initiative paved way for many other young people to follow who later on came forward to join them.
To acknowledge the positive impact Sathy Aktar and her team has brought to her society, she has been honoured with the ‘IVD Bangladesh Volunteer Award 2020’ and ‘Inspiring Women Volunteer Award 2021’ for her outstanding voluntary activities to help the community and the government to tackle the spread of COVID-19.