The second wave of COVID pandemic in India has unleashed an unprecedented public health crisis caused due to the large-scale spread of COVID infection in all parts of the country. According to the news reports, the past few days have seen more than 300,000 cases and nearly 2500 covid related deaths in different parts of the country. The health system, particularly in the large cities and urban areas, is overwhelmed by the incessant stream of COVID patients seeking medical assistance and supplemental oxygen. Therefore, we must spread the message of adherence to COVID appropriate behavior in the communities along with supporting the ramping up of the public health infrastructure to prevent the crisis. In this context, Plan Care Foundation has launched #FightAgainstCovid initiative which seeks to directly support COVID-affected families . Additionally poor and vulnerable families, especially girls and young women, will be indirectly supported through COVID prevention, vaccination, and food security interventions.
Under this initiative we foucessed on the poorest of the poor, including daily wage earners, people living on footpaths, slums and specially abled people on streets. Under the campaign, sanitisers and masks are being distributed . We also made arrangements for ration for these people. The strategy being adopted is to make rations available for 15 days per person. “The livelihood of those living in slums and on footpaths depends on what they earn by doing daily work. The national 21-day lockdown, which is of utmost importance, has resulted in loss of work for people. In such a situation, they need to be helped for not just provision of important things such as sanitisers, soaps and masks to ward off getting infected, but also giving ration. We are working on both aspects.”
Moreover while the lockdown made it difficult for the teams to conduct field visits to the sponsored families, Plan India initiated follow-up through phone calls to stay connected with its community members. The teams made daily calls to understand the wellbeing, medical condition and other needs of the families. They also counselled them on the safety and preventive measures around COVID–19.