Big help for migrant workers

P. BALA

When the Covid-19 cases among migrant workers began to increase in March, Mrs Vidya Dasgupta sprung into action.

She realised that it was important to alleviate their fears and offered to translate notices and messages into their mother tongue.

The dependant's pass holder is no stranger to voluntary work, having assisted organisations such as Transient Workers Count Too that help migrant workers, over the past few years.

Well-versed in Tamil, Bengali, Marathi and Hindi, she decided to put her linguistic skills to good use.

Since March, she has been assisting migrant workers admitted to the Alexandra Hospital by passing information to them and conducting surveys in Bengali over the phone.

She has also been translating English text to Tamil, helping workers understand posters that carry instructions on how to use WiFi, information on Covid-19 and hygiene tips.

"With the Covid-19 cases increasing rapidly, the translations had to be done quickly, without compromising on accuracy," said Mrs Dasgupta, 49, who has extended her services to other government organisations. "I had to make sure that my translations were simple and easy for others to understand."

Her Tamil voiceovers were used at the Changi Exhibition Centre community isolation facility too. These included motivational messages, tips on exercises and information on swab tests.

"Mrs Vidya Dasgupta has helped with the translation of health education and Covid-19 information posters. These health materials are shared with the residents at the three dormitories that Alexandra Hospital is caring for," said Mr Averil Soh, senior executive (Volunteer Coordination), Alexandra Hospital.

"We are very grateful to Mrs Dasgupta for her passion in helping the hospital to reach out and relay essential health information to the migrant worker community."

Mrs Dasgupta said that "it has been a fulfilling journey to assist in such a meaningful cause".

An entrepreneur in the financial industry and mother of two, she is now set on achieving her next goal: Making a mark in social entrepreneurship.

 pbala@sph.com.sg