Taking cognizance of the need for essential services like plumbing during the ongoing COVID 19 crisis, the Indian Plumbing Skills Council (IPSC) aligned to Skill India program, under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), has prepared a database of over 900 plumbers who are ready to provide their services during the lockdown period, across the country. The IPSC has also requested its affiliated training partners to conduct distribution drives of food and essential supplies to the needy and extended necessary support in the preparation and distribution activities. Over 70 training centres have also been nominated for conversion into food distribution/isolation centres.
Keeping in mind the need for stringent health and safety norms, the IPSC has also drafted Guidelines for the Plumbing Workforce to be observed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines were put together by a special IPSC technical task force headed by eminent leaders and experts from the Indian Plumbing Fraternity. The Guidelines cover important DO’s and DONT’s and location-specific precautionary measures including residential buildings and apartments, hospitals, isolation centres, commercial complexes and other establishments.
Some key highlights of the advisory are:
- Follow social distancing
- Disinfecting tools, equipment, touch points – quantity of solutions to be used
- Prefer cashless transaction
- Disposing used material
- Educating consumers for self-help in crisis
- Maintaining a log for backtracking in case needed
As per the order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 15th April 2020, self-employed orkforce including plumbers will be permitted to provide their services, from 20th April 2020. However, due to the nature of the job, drastic changes in procedures followed have been envisaged in the guidelines, especially pertaining to health and safety.
Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship said, “IPSC’s proactive efforts in creating these guidelines are commendable and a welcome step towards India’s fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. We must work together and support the efforts of our Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi and all healthcare workers that are fighting this pandemic in the frontline. The seven steps shared by the Hon’ble Prime Minister in his last address to the nation, should be followed by every citizen and it will help extensively in fighting this deadly pandemic. The IPSC is constantly getting request from volunteers to contribute through their service to the nation, so this number of 900 will keep increasing.”
Dr Rajendra K Somany, Chairman, Indian Plumbing Skills Council said, “The health & safety of the Indian citizens is of utmost importance. The plumbing workforce plays a very important role in protecting the health of the nation. These guidelines have been created by the Technical Taskforce spearheaded by Mr MK Gupta and Mr Vinay Gupta (Vice-Chairman, IPSC), as additional precautionary measures that the workforce must adhere to, in order to contain the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The plumbing sector in India is highly unorganized and dependent on contractual and migratory workforce and its various diversified sub-segments such as contractors, manufacturers and consultants were not represented by any organisation.
IPSC was launched to bridge the gap between the demand and supply of skilled manpower and has been consistently offering excellence in vocational proficiency, backed by holistic skill development for the plumbing community to help reduce this skill deficit. Currently, IPSC has approx. 230 training centres, 250 certified trainers and 85 certified assessors across India. IPSC has been working continuously to engage the industry towards the Skill India Mission amongst other important activities pertaining to formalizing the eco-system in the Indian Plumbing Sector.