May 6, 2021

NALSAR students launch COVID-19 crowdsourced resources portal

About The NAlSAR University Of Law

The National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, also known as NALSAR University of Law is a National Law University located in Secunderabad, Hyderabad. The University was established in 1998 by an Act of Andhra Pradesh State Legislature. It is popularly known as NALSAR or NALSAR Hyderabad and is recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and is accredited with an “A” grade with a score of 3.60 by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

About the crowdsourced resources portal

As India passes through a dark phase brought about by the pandemic, people from all walks of life face tragedy and loss, and massive anxiety exacerbated by ongoing shortages of beds, medical oxygen, life-saving medicines and safe testing facilities.

The students of the NALSAR University of Law were no exception. What started as efforts to facilitate help for those who needed it within university networks has now been manifested in the form of a website, which the students of the university hope will now be useful to a wider population.

The NALSAR Crowdsourced Covid-19 Database was conceptualised by the NALSAR Student Bar Council’s Executive Council and the Academic Committee, when it became apparent that the list of resources accumulated during crowd-sourced efforts to help people known to students may have utility for the whole country.

The website contains information on where to find COVID-19 related resources, and is categorized state-wise as well as resource-wise to make the search as easy as possible. It directs people to websites run by both state government websites as well as volunteer groups and NGOs around the country as per their need and provides recommendations in each resource category based on feedback. A database with verified information being generated by NALSAR student volunteers forms a part of this index. For each state, government and non-official sources are linked which list the number of available beds.

This initiative seeks to bring into one place the several individual and institutional efforts around the country to create portals that aggregate COVID-19 resources in a categorized manner, so that a person looking for a COVID-19 relief has a convenient and effective starting point in their search. Care has also been taken to include resources for the safe delivery of food to COVID-affected households, mental health resources, fact-checking resources and SOS resources for those in dire situations.

The database is constantly updated as new resources are brought to light and is updated based on feedback and each source undergoes verification. The NALSAR Student Bar Council hopes that the website is of use to those who are urgently in need of testing facilities, medical supplies, oxygen, beds, etc. for themselves and their loved ones. By creating a consolidated list of reputable sources from where help can be sought, those who find themselves in difficult situations may be able to avoid having to engage in uncertain googling and relying on a small number of personal contacts.

When a number of resources are out there, every bit of added accessibility to them may contribute towards saving a life. The NALSAR Student Bar Council urges every citizen to do their part in amplifying the many calls for help that echo in these troubled times. While the Crowdsourced Database seeks to make finding help easier, the commendable efforts of those providing help – healthcare workers and those who produce and develop life-saving medicine, may be celebrated.

Future plans include making available a WhatsApp number that visitors to the site can text to get assistance from student volunteers for medical resources they are looking for.

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