COVID-19 Relief and Response
Communities have had to isolate to control the spread of COVID-19, food insecurity has risen to crisis levels across the globe, particularly for those who are financially vulnerable in good times and have lost their sources of income. This is happening in India.
On March 25th, 2020, a nation-wide lockdown was announced in India as a preemptive measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The lockdown completely restricted the movement of people and local markets were closed. Among those impacted, were tribal people in rural areas who depend on daily wages, especially those that migrate to cities for work, and have no savings. This includes the Adivasi of the Tansa Valley, which PRASAD Chikitsa works with on a daily basis.
Their survival is contingent on earning a minimum daily wage of Rs 100/ $1.30, which then allows them to buy food supplies for daily subsistence. The lockdown made this impossible.
Food Ration Distribution: The Community
PRASAD Chikitsa has set up a relief package for the neediest tribal families. While the Government is providing rice and wheat, in some cases, other essentials are beyond the reach of tribal families in remote hamlets of the Tansa Valley.
The safest solution to avoid spread of infections is to provide basic rations to the families and make it sustainable for them. PRASAD Chikitsa, through its extensive network of SHG women, was able to identify the needs of the families below or close to poverty line. Based on the most common requests, a list of groceries/essentials was prepared for a family of 6 members to last a fortnight. Each ration bag includes lentils, onions, potatoes, cooking oil, wheat flour, salt, turmeric and local spices. Also included is bathing and cleaning soap.
This food security and nutrition is reassuring during this time of uncertainty and lack of any resources. Our aim is to provide these essential supplies to 1000 families ideally for 3 months.
Medical Services continue: Anukampa Health Center
The Anukampa Health Clinic is open for screenings six days a week and is operating at 50% capacity to maintain social distancing. Some of our dedicated staff members travel over an hour each way to reach the clinic. The hospital is sterilized every day and our team is taking all necessary precautions needed.
We are working with the Government to report any symptoms of Covid-19 in patients and stop its spread. PRASAD Chikitsa has a no-refusal policy and is dedicated to serving the community at this time and always.
Mask Production: Self Help Groups
PRASAD Chikitsa is distributing masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Women in Self Help Groups make these from their homes, for the benefit of their communities. Each woman earns ten rupees per mask, so it also gives them an income.
The fabric has been provided by PRASAD Chikitsa and production will be scaled up as soon as procuring more fabric becomes possible.
Mask Distribution: The Community
PRASAD Chikitsa is distributing masks in rural and hard to access areas in the Tansa Valley. Ganeshpuri and nearby villages have already received the masks as has any patient who visits the Anukampa Health Center.
Not only do we distribute masks, but we also educate villagers about Coronavirus, its symptoms and how to wash and reuse the masks correctly. We reassure them that they can walk into the Anukampa Health Center at any time, in case they are worried and want to be screened.
Medical equipment donation
Following an appeal by the Deputy CEO of Palghar District, PRASAD Chikitsa donated medical equipment in its fight against the virus to the Health Department of Vasai & Virar.
The equipment included:
3 BP apparatuses
8 hospital beds
180 N95 masks
500 Latex Single Use Gloves
250 Surgical/Procedure Masks
The love and gratitude we are showered with is our sweetest reward.
One villager said, “Nobody has cared for us the way you have.”
It melted our hearts.