NEWSLETTER APRIL 2020
This issue of our monthly newsletter focuses specifically on the relief work we have been involved in since the COVID-19 related lockdown was initiated by the Central Government in the last week of March. We will be briefing you about the background for initiating this relief work, and our plans for continuing it further.
We would like to begin by thanking all our donors and well wishers for supporting this noble cause by donating both in cash and kind. Because of you, we have been able to raise 10 lakhs INR for relief work. There is much appreciation for our field volunteers who risk their life for supporting the needy people as much as they can!
A pneumonia of unknown causes, detected in Wuhan, China was first reported to the WHO Country Office in China on 31 December 2019. The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020 by the WHO (World Health Organisation). The virus has now spread to more than 200 Countries and Territories all over the world with reported a total of 2,013,998 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 with 127,590 deaths till date.
India has a huge population, many of whom have little or no education, are extremely poor with no financial reserves, live in very basic conditions, and have limited access to satisfactory medical care (India has only 100,000 ventilators). The situation is further compounded by discrimination suffered by Scheduled Castes (Dalits), Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and religious minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians.
The Central Government locked down the entire nation on the 25th of March without proper planning to contain the COVID – 19 pandemic effectively, resulting in the fact that those who are discriminated against are suffering and will suffer from unimaginable hardships. They include domestic workers, daily wage earners, manual scavengers, farm labourers, construction workers, rag pickers, migrant labourers etc. In the nationwide lockdown, they are unable to go out and earn money to feed their families and children. Even though the State and Central Governments are trying to reach out to all those who are in need, it is an impossible task. India has a population of 1.4 billion people, and they rely on NGOs and voluntary organisations to help.
Our Response to COVID -19
Nagaloka Alumni have formed a coordination team of 16 members from different parts of India. Move over the image to see their names and location. Click on the link to view their profile.
Our Alumni come from many different states across India, and most are from discriminated and vulnerable communities – so they know very well the needs of these communities. They have been identifying essential requirements of vulnerable communities by conducting baseline surveys, and then informing the coordination team of what is required.
We have scaled up our response as much as possible, covering the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odissa, Bihar, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh. We are focusing specifically on reaching out to the poorest of the poor in districts which others cannot reach. Our field volunteers strive day and night, collecting information, planning strategies, preparing budgets, getting them approved and providing relief materials in the form of food kits, rations, prepared food, sanitisers, home-made masks and other essential requirements, which also includes cash in some cases.
So far, as on 30 April 2020, an amount of INR 10 Lakh + has been disbursed for this relief work. We are incredibly grateful to those who helped us raise this amount. However, there is an urgent need to raise more than 3 times this amount in order provide adequate relief to vulnerable communities during the lockdown.
Some of our alumni are working with other NGOs to help more extensively. Others are working directly with Government and police officials. They collect information from villages and inform Government authorities for providing them with adequate ration, cooked food, medicines and so forth.
Our core team members have regular meetings and follow up with the field volunteers and other associated NGO’s working for the same cause. Based on that, we have planned further strategies to be more effective in our relief work.
Baseline survey – Our Volunteer alumni will do more accurate baseline surveys through which they will identify groups which require essential goods like grain, vegetables, milk, sanitary pads, medicines, etc. This survey will identify malnourished children, children needing milk, and families with no money to buy these goods even for one day. (Note- our alumni have been doing baseline surveys so far but because the situation is getting worse day by day, they have not been able to record information efficiently. Many shops are still not open right now).
State Coordinators – We have a state coordinator in each state we are working in. Volunteers report to the state coordinator about their identified list of families, completing an appeal form stating the amount of money required. The appeal form includes the number of families, cost of ration for each family, ration for targeted days, etc.
Essential rations, masks and sanitisers are being distributed by our volunteers.
Creating awareness – While distributing rations, masks and sanitisers, our alumni volunteers also spread awareness among the villages/individuals by referring to WHO’s guidelines on the COVID – 19 pandemic.
Direct Benefit Transfer – Because of the length of the lockdown, many in our target groups are left with no money. We plan to deposit at least 1500 to 2000 RS to these families’ bank accounts through online transactions. This amount of money will help them out by purchasing the milk for their children, vegetables, medicines, sanitary pads, etc.
We do not know how long this situation will last, but it is likely to have a severe impact on millions of people throughout India for the next few months, and maybe longer. We are in touch with people who are likely to suffer most from this disease, We are doing what we can. The more support we receive the more people we can help. From the reports we have received by our volunteers, we need to raise at least 30 lakhs INR to cover this stage of relief work.
So dear friends and community, on behalf of Nagaloka, we would like appeal to all of you to support us in this extremely grave situation.
Nagaloka: Nagaloka, Kamptee Road, Bhilgaon, Nagpur, Maharashtra, 440026
All above figure and matters as received by our Field Volunteers, Compiled by Lakhindar Soren as on 30th April 2020.