Providing accurate information during the COVID-19 pandemic

Green Jalpaiguri, an NGO, provides medical supplies to the community while helping to fight disinformation. Credit Internews

Green Jalpaiguri, a non-profit organization serving the poor in Jalpaiguri, has provided oxygen and ambulance services during the pandemic to people who have few resources.

Through his work, Ankur Das, the general secretary of Green Jalpaiguri, realized that misinformation about COVID-19, particularly the vaccine and its side effects, was spreading uncontrollably.

“People look up to us. When we go to communities to distribute what was donated, people approach us to ask about the veracity of social media information,” he says.

Ankur invited Soma to conduct a training for members of his organization and other citizens of Jalpaiguri.

“Knowing more about misinformation and how to combat it through FactShala helped us dispel rumors and motivated people to get vaccinated along with their family members.”

“The FactShala training helped me in my mission to make citizens aware of the news imbalance and misinformation and increase media literacy in grassroot communities that need it the most,” says Soma. “The most effective way to fight misinformation is to break the habit of uncritical sharing. The FactShala training not only helped citizens realize that, but also enabled them to share this knowledge with their peers.”

FactShala is a news and information literacy program launched in 2020 by Internews with the support of and the Google News Initiative, in collaboration with DataLEADS.