Man dressed at Santa sanitises a BEST bus.
Man dressed at Santa sanitises a BEST bus.
Bhushan Koyande

On the eve of the International Labour Day, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has emerged to become the only organisation in India whose officials were invited to speak at a global webinar on sustainable health development.

The webinar was organised to mark International Labour Day and was organised by United Nation's Development Program along with International Labour Organisation (ILO) along with other global agencies. The UNDP and ILO commended the BEST for its efficient COVID-19 management in the organisation alongside bringing down the infection rate of Tuberculosis and HIV by a significant margin amongst its members.

Dr. Anil Kumar Singhal - Chief Medical Officer (CMO) BEST, was invited to speak at the webinar said that the western world was surprised by the way how infection rate in such a vast public undertaking organisation diminished in such a small time.

"Alongwith Covid we are also battling fatal diseases like TB and AIDS. Back in 2005, TB and AIDS were included in health and wellness policy of employees, later in 2011 we reintroduced the policy jointly with the ILO by making some amendments, following which the infection rate in the organisation started to fall," Singhal told FPJ on Saturday.

He mentioned in the webinar speakers were invited from countries like Kenya, Singapore, Thailand etc and after interacting with them he realised that BEST is way ahead of many organisations in the world.

"Our organisation has more than 34,000 employees, the job of the workers is physically demanding, which is why it is a challenge for us to bring down the numbers," Singhal added.

Earlier in December, the ILO had reached out to BEST and commended the organisation for Covid management. During the lockdown imposed to contain the pandemic last year, BEST provided continuous support to the frontline workers and emerged to become the lifeline of Mumbai in the absence of local trains in the city.

Between April 2020 and May 2021, BEST has reported 3,365 positive cases out of which 3,210 patients have already recovered. The BEST has a recovery rate of 95 per cent and presently there are only 45 active cases in the organisation.

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