The COVID19 pandemic has come into our lives like a storm, and there’s no expiry date in sight. A situation of total lockdown is prevailing in the country. All activities have been disrupted and everyone’s lives have taken a turn for the worse. In a crisis like this, it’s often the lower strata of the society which is worst hit. People in urban areas generally have some savings for a rainy day, but the rural folk mostly live on a day-to-day income. Many of these people live in temporary shelters, which aggravates their problems. Thus, they are the ones who are presently facing a dearth of essential commodities, including food items.
COVID-19 has wrecked much distress in India. While the lockdown has helped to curb the spread of the virus, it has also turned out to be a bane for some. The poor migrant workers with no means of livelihood in cities have returned back to their villages. This mass exodus has not only made them susceptible to the deadly viral infection but also risked community transmission in their villages. The numbers are growing exponentially every day. India is in crisis and needs collective efforts to save the community.
RMKM, since the establishment in 1975, has been working in the field of community development and various underprivileged areas in unprecedented ways, against unimaginable odds; on very low resources, in very remote places to serve our beneficiaries. It is the result of nearly 45 years of constant learning and innovating in a place of scarcity or adversity, that has given us the resilience we are heavily relying on
at this critical time in our journey. In the wake of the disruption that this global health crisis has caused and the measures being taken across the world to contain and manage the spread of COVID-19, we at RMKM have taken various initiatives at Ajmer District for the beneficial of “approx.. 2000 Children With Special Needs (CWSNs)& Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), approx.. 10000 under-privileged, economically weaker families from rural areas along with Female Sex Workers, Intra Drugs Users & Migrant workers” to support them to cope-up with such critical conditions. There are many communities in the village whose means of livelihood have been badly affected. These people work as daily wage laborers to earn their livelihood. The current pandemic has wiped out all means of living for these communities and pushed them into the throes of poverty. We got into action as soon as the Lockdown announced, our staff and volunteers joined hands to help these families during the critical situation. We are continuously in touch with them to resolve any issues they are facing and to assuage their fears.
SOME OF THOSE INITIATIVES ARE LISTED BELOW:
1. Supply Food materials:-
As they belong to poor economic background, mostly daily wage labourers, so to help sustain their health during this period, we are providing essential food materials of approx.. Rs. 700/- (for 10 Days) viz. Wheat Flour-10Kgs, Gram Pulse-1 Kgs, Salt-1Kg, Chilli powder-100Gms, Rice-1 Kgs, Sugar- 1Kg, Turmeric Powder, 100 Gms. Till date, Approx. 10764 members of 2250 families have been supported through this.
2. Implementing Hygienic Practices:-
Generally, these communities are less educated, and not friendly with such practices like washing hands many times a day for their well-being. The RMKM team is not only providing Two Dettol Soaps but also creating awareness by making them learn the correct way of washing hands with its importance in prevention from virus.
3. Medical support & Masks Distribution:-
Provided masks to help them prevent from the spread of the virus in the community and made them aware to use it wherever they go. Those persons who are suffering from HIV /AIDS and could not able to reach hospitals due to lockdown, RMKM is reaching them with the required medicines and necessary food materials to help them sustain themselves.
4. Helpline 24 X 7:
Besides this, RMKM at its level, has started a helpline which will work 24 X 7 for the needy ones who can call and ask for assistance. After authentication, RMKM team will provide them ration material of approx. Rs. 2000/- for a month.
5. Counselled about Arogya Setu App:
While the third phase of lockdown was announced till May 17, the Government has come up with a mobile-based application called Arogya Setu App and is encouraging citizens for its wide-scale usage. After realizing its importance, RMKM counselled its staff as well as beneficiaries to download this app and support the Government.
6. Webinar Participation:-
Mrs. Kshama R Kaushik on behalf of RMKM lectured in webinar on the topic- Mental health issues of children during lockdown in which more than 200 organizations were there who are working with childline India.
7. Online training support to CWSN & their families:
Keeping CWSN busy is itself a challenge because it is essential for them to learn something new every day but now during the prevailing conditions of lockdown due to COVID-19 outbreak, it become difficult for the parents of CWSNs to handle them at home and restraining them from going outside. In such situation, our special educators started providing training through digital media & telephonic counselling as per the need of each CWSN, which keeps them busy as well as their skills are also upgrading day by day. Through this, the developmental work of these children will not be interrupted and they will continue to move towards self-reliance.
Acknowledgement by The District Administration
RMKM’s untiring efforts as COVID-19 response with limited resources are well recognized by the District Administration Ajmer, who appointed RMKM as The District Mother (Nodal) NGO as per the instructions of Planning Commission, New Delhi, Government of India and Mr. Vishwamohan Sharma- The District Collector, Ajmer for effective coordination with other Civil Service Organizations to stand strong against this pandemic and save the community from this.
CALL TO ACTION
With above insights, its already understood that it’s a big challenge to fulfill the basic requirements for specially those who work in an unorganized sector. Hence, we would like to request your valuable support to reach-out to millions of vulnerable people. So Come Forward and Support RMKM’s Efforts.
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Rakesh K Kaushik
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