Response to Covid-19 (lockdown phase) & Post Lockdown

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease that causes respiratory illness and primarily spreads through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or objects that has the virus on it, and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth. The outbreak of Coronavirus had affected 210 countries and territories around the globe. The spread of COVID-19 had set a majour challenge around the globe and every possible effort is made by the nations in order to combat this dreadful virus.

On 11 March 2020, WHO declared Novel Corona virus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak as a pandemic which was followed by 21-day nationwide lockdown in India by the Prime Minister on 24 March 2020 in order to protect the country, and each of its citizens. Lockdowns put in place by governments have affected the entire world especially the poor families to survive and sustain as they found no means to feed their families. In these dark times, lives of Kashmiri’s again were stricken with the lockdown who recently emerged from a prolonged blackout. The entire valley has witnessed intermittent periods of unrest spanning up to 6 months which had already hit the less privileged ones. Humanity Welfare Organization Helpline has realized that lockdowns have brought normal life to a standstill. The unorganized sector is reeling from the impact of the lockdowns. Daily wage earners, Street vendors, Labourers and many others suddenly found themselves with no means to feed their families.

Humanity Welfare Organization Helpline considered it as our responsibility to help the poor families to survive and sustain in the time of crisis like this. In response to COVID-19, a family support programme was drafted and the work plan was discussed among the staffers. For that matter, our whole staff and volunteers joined hands and came to the forefront in order to help the masses to cope up with the crisis. It was found that daily wage earners, cart pullers and labourers found it hard to sustain during the lockdown.

In this regard, a meeting among the administration and NGO’s was conducted at the office of Deputy Commissioner Anantnag. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Commissioner Anantnag and the ways of reaching out to less privileged sections of the society was put forward. NGO’S across the district assured of every possible help at their end and took the responsibility of reaching out to less privileged families on their shoulders. Humanity Welfare organization Helpline was assigned to cover the families falling within the ambit of Bijbehara and we appreciated the given task.

The very next day, a conference call was arranged among the staffers and the volunteers and the plan of action was formulated. The whole area of Bijbehara was divided into 8 clusters and the deputation of staff and volunteers were set in order to identify the less privileged families. A baseline survey for the identification of families was initiated and the identified families were verified by the Aquaf Bodies and Mohalla Presidents. Simultaneously, the religious Priests were taken into the consideration for the authentication of the identified families as they are the inhabitants of the same communities and know families well. A total of 460 Families had been identified so far and the need of grocery kits among these families was felt. The grocery kit was designed that can help one family to sustain for a month included: Edible Oil, Salt, Red Chili powder, Tumeric Powder, Fennel Seed powder, Dried Peas, Chola Dal, Moong Dal, Musoor Dal, Kashmiri Namkeen Tea, Bathing Soap and Dish Wash Bar.

A procurement committee was constituted and the process of procurement was preceded. Soon after the vendor was selected, all the items required for grocery kits were purchased and the preparation of kits was started. All the precautionary measures such as putting on gloves and masks and were adopted which packing the articles. Everyone involved in the programme were highly encouraged to use sanitizers and hand was gels in the meantime. A proper social distancing was maintained during the whole programme in order to ensure the safety of team as well as of the masses. The whole staff and volunteers put their blood and sweat in making the kits ready for the identified families. The packing was completed within 2 days and the kits were ready for delivery.

The staffers and volunteers rolled up their sleeves and reached out to the families. We provided them food kits at their door steps under the supervision of Aquaf Bodies. After 2 days of continuous work, 460 grocery kits were distributed among the deserved ones. We succeed in doing our bit by reaching out to less privileged families who had fire in the bellies. Everyone thanked the team for the support in the time of crisis. Thus the programme ended as a great success!

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