Objective: To create a preventive action against the possible catastrophic impact of COVID 19 in rural areas
Problem: We are about to talk about something that can be disturbing to you if you are capable of visualizing the severity.
Chances are, a good number of us who are reading this right now, belong to small towns. It is high time we talk about them. Whatever little time is left, we need to prepare to save our small cities, towns and villages from the wrath of this deadly pandemic. They are our people, they are not just statistics and we have a responsibility.
The challenges are multifold, we’re trying to mitigate the crisis, we need your support.
All the devastation that unfolded over the last few weeks, all that gut wrenching cries and visuals that we have come across, the crippled healthcare infrastructure, are just a glimpse of a bigger crisis that is about to unfold.
Over the last few weeks, ‘Oxygen’ continued to dominate our newsfeeds. But what went completely unnoticed and unreported are the threat and preparedness levels of our small towns and rural India.
When the cities struggled so hard, while the cities failed miserably to handle the crisis, what makes us think that more than 70% of Indians living in small cities, towns and villages can survive this pandemic?
We had the privilege yet the covid crisis ripped us apart: from having access to the internet, facilities, resources, financial security, we had it all.
From video consultations with doctors, to ordering medicines and groceries online so that we don’t have to step out, consuming the informative and life saving tips shared by the doctor and health-care experts on social media, getting to know about the dozens of nonprofits offering emergency help and service, and now finding vaccination slots. The Internet has been incredibly helpful for us.
Let us remind ourselves that roughly half of India is connected to the internet as of today. Internet penetration in the villages and towns is grim. They lack awareness about the disease, the recovery, the vaccination.
- People in the small towns and villages, they don’t know what a pulse oximeter is. They don’t know what oxygen saturation is. Most of them cannot even afford a pulse oximeter.
- They don’t have enough testing centers. They don’t have access to basic medicines. They cannot bear the cost of the treatment.
- They don’t know how to look for resources on the internet, no one is even putting together a resource list for them.
Relief effort by NGOs and volunteer groups only focused on cities as of today. We need to start focusing on our villages.
Hundreds of NGOs, volunteer groups are working tirelessly to mitigate the crisis. Millions of generous donors are pouring in their support to fund these relief efforts. Unfortunately, 98% of the relief effort is focused on cities.
The challenges are multifold when it comes to handling the crisis which is not less than any disaster, at the town and village levels:
- Financial distress: Majority of the rural income group are worst hit due to the lockdown already.
- Low or no internet penetration
- Lack of awareness and still in a state of denial: A majority of the people from rural India still don’t understand the severity of this deadly virus.
- Migration: Just weeks back as the lockdowns were being enforced partially in some states of the country, a huge population of the migrant and daily wage workers immediately travelled back to their towns and villages to avoid a deadly crisis like the lockdown 2020. Most of them carried the infectious virus with them, from large cities to their towns and villages.
- Misconceptions about vaccines, falling prey to fake news.
- Lack of facilities and inadequate capacities in health centres
Here’s what we are doing
- Preparing and distributing medicine kits with written dosage instructions in respective languages.
- Increasing the capacity of the health centers that are either defunct or running on inadequate facilities and supplies. It includes installing new beds, ensuring oxygen supplies, deploying healthcare volunteers.
- Creating awareness: Our volunteers at community levels are creating awareness about the deadly disease, early symptoms, timely medication.
- Enrolling for vaccination– Rural India is still partial enrolled in internet and have access to smart device, our volunteers will enable enrolling of the same
Availability of more than 16000 classrooms operated by Build A Class Initiative, across 21 states which will be converted into covid care wards/helpdesk centers to provide support and assistance to combat COVID 19 turning into a catastrophe in rural India, we need funding for capacity building of those and fulfillment of inventories (beds, oxygen concentrators, medicines, PPE kits, 95 GSM Non woven laminated, PPSB, Face shield, 3 ply surgical mask, Coverall with 2-way zipper- sitra certified (v) Shoe covers with leggings- Sitra certified, Disposable nitrile gloves, Disposal bag) along with it banners, posters, offline campaigning using mic for local awareness.
Also arranging technicians, doctors, and nurses for effective functioning of the centers.
We already have activated more than 1000 rural medical practitioners as well to provide grassroots support.
Which areas are covered under this campaign?
We are trying to cover villages of almost every state.
How villagers are going to get benefitted from this campaign?
Free distribution of medicines, installing new beds, ensuring oxygen supplies, deploying healthcare volunteers, enrolling them in vaccination, and creating awareness among them.
Your share could be as good as a donation
Mission Prevention: Prevent Our Rural India From COVID Crisis