Covid-19: Aid to Slum Communities in India

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COVID-19 has been unprecedented. Humanity is being tested in every possible way. The worst affected are those living on the periphery – the migrants, the unskilled labour, those on daily wages and many who are “identity-less” with no legal papers to establish their citizen rights, depriving them of many services.

 As cases continue to spiral in the first and second wave of 2020 and 2021 health care infrastructure has collapsed with fear and panic writ large on the faces of hapless people for whom the pandemic has dealt a very severe blow. From losing jobs to dealing with sick family members and loss of dear ones, they have no one who they can turn to.

 Due to poverty, illiteracy and lack of awareness they are also vulnerable to myths, misconceptions and superstitious beliefs, many of which are detrimental to their health seeking behaviours. The contradictory messaging that is being beamed through social media is having a viral effect influencing them in ways that are having a ripple effect.

 Savitri, a resident of a slum in Gurugram was in complete denial about COVID-19. She continued to go to different houses for work without wearing a mask or following proper sanitisation at home. Maitri who works in a garment factory under the influence of her husband is convinced that taking the vaccination will afflict them with life threatening diseases. Surabhi an adolescent girl living in a slum in Delhi insists on meeting her large group of friends who congregate in isolated places without wearing masks or following social distancing. Octogenarian Mithila refuses to visit the hospital for her severe body rash, breathlessness and high fever. She is convinced that the doctors are hand in glove with anti-social elements who are out to ruin the country and harm its people. Urmila has spent a major part of her savings on god men and god women for doing pujas and making other religious offerings in an effort to cure her entire household that is suffering from COVID.

 Sukarya has reached out to each of these families through its outreach programme and convinced them to follow COVID-19 protocols. For over two decades their team has been visiting households, holding community events, medical camps and providing counselling building relationships of trust. Even during the acute phase of the pandemic, they continued to visit the households and engage with the members from a distance sitting in the open, talking informally to them, showing them posters and other materials, driving home the key messages.

 The lockdowns announced by the government have had deep impact on the lives of slum dwellers. The men-folk lost their jobs and the women who worked in households too were asked not to come for fear of spreading the infection. Many of them were not paid. The pressure on the household economy has been immense. Several NGOs stepped forward to donate food, medicines, sanitation kits, dry rations and face masks. Sukarya too stepped up its counselling sessions, awareness drives and donation efforts bringing services right to the doorstep of families living in the slums and peri-urban areas of Delhi, Gurugram and villages of Haryana and Rajasthan where Sukarya has a strong presence.

 The pandemic has put India on the world map. Many of the images of victims and survivors will continue to haunt us for a long time. Help has been pouring in from all quarters. People of all faiths, backgrounds and affiliations are joining hands because they realise that COVID-19 does not discriminate. It affects the rich and poor except that the poor lack the resources to protect themselves or seek interventions that can give them a chance to survive. Every effort counts. Join us to help serve the marginalised, the downtrodden and the underprivileged. Make the world a more equal place.

 Appeal: Add to the efforts of Sukarya and countless other NGOs, organisations and families that are supporting the cause. You can make your donation as per your convenience.

About The Beneficiary Organisation

COVID-19 has been unprecedented. Humanity is being tested in every possible way. The worst affected are those living on the periphery – the migrants, the unskilled labour, those on daily wages and many who are “identity-less” with no legal papers to establish their citizen rights, depriving them of many services.

 As cases continue to spiral in the first and second wave of 2020 and 2021 health care infrastructure has collapsed with fear and panic writ large on the faces of hapless people for whom the pandemic has dealt a very severe blow. From losing jobs to dealing with sick family members and loss of dear ones, they have no one who they can turn to.

 Due to poverty, illiteracy and lack of awareness they are also vulnerable to myths, misconceptions and superstitious beliefs, many of which are detrimental to their health seeking behaviours. The contradictory messaging that is being beamed through social media is having a viral effect influencing them in ways that are having a ripple effect.

 Savitri, a resident of a slum in Gurugram was in complete denial about COVID-19. She continued to go to different houses for work without wearing a mask or following proper sanitisation at home. Maitri who works in a garment factory under the influence of her husband is convinced that taking the vaccination will afflict them with life threatening diseases. Surabhi an adolescent girl living in a slum in Delhi insists on meeting her large group of friends who congregate in isolated places without wearing masks or following social distancing. Octogenarian Mithila refuses to visit the hospital for her severe body rash, breathlessness and high fever. She is convinced that the doctors are hand in glove with anti-social elements who are out to ruin the country and harm its people. Urmila has spent a major part of her savings on god men and god women for doing pujas and making other religious offerings in an effort to cure her entire household that is suffering from COVID.

 Sukarya has reached out to each of these families through its outreach programme and convinced them to follow COVID-19 protocols. For over two decades their team has been visiting households, holding community events, medical camps and providing counselling building relationships of trust. Even during the acute phase of the pandemic, they continued to visit the households and engage with the members from a distance sitting in the open, talking informally to them, showing them posters and other materials, driving home the key messages.

 The lockdowns announced by the government have had deep impact on the lives of slum dwellers. The men-folk lost their jobs and the women who worked in households too were asked not to come for fear of spreading the infection. Many of them were not paid. The pressure on the household economy has been immense. Several NGOs stepped forward to donate food, medicines, sanitation kits, dry rations and face masks. Sukarya too stepped up its counselling sessions, awareness drives and donation efforts bringing services right to the doorstep of families living in the slums and peri-urban areas of Delhi, Gurugram and villages of Haryana and Rajasthan where Sukarya has a strong presence.

 The pandemic has put India on the world map. Many of the images of victims and survivors will continue to haunt us for a long time. Help has been pouring in from all quarters. People of all faiths, backgrounds and affiliations are joining hands because they realise that COVID-19 does not discriminate. It affects the rich and poor except that the poor lack the resources to protect themselves or seek interventions that can give them a chance to survive. Every effort counts. Join us to help serve the marginalised, the downtrodden and the underprivileged. Make the world a more equal place.

 Appeal: Add to the efforts of Sukarya and countless other NGOs, organisations and families that are supporting the cause. You can make your donation as per your convenience.

About The Beneficiary Organisation

credit-cardAll credit/debit cards
net-bankingNet Banking
upi
phonepay
gpay
paytm