( April 2, 2020 )
With the economic distress and ongoing lockdown, Smile Foundation is distributing free ration to the underprivileged society and also providing tele-consulting and tele-counseling. Through these sessions, Smile will be talking about how to prevent COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and maintaining the hygiene of self and surroundings.
Approximately 40,000 families (more than 2 lakh+ people) across 10 worst-hit states, namely Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Punjab will benefit in the first phase of ration and essential services distribution.
National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), 2011 denotes that close to 30 million workers in India are constantly on the move and more workers are added each day. With the lockdown in place, over the last few weeks dependence on daily wages has been erratic and is on a slowdown. Scores of migrant workers are looking to leave the cities as they see no hope of income or food. With Governments across the nation looking to provide food and shelter, reaching out to everyone is essential at this stage, and that needs to be done with all stakeholders including NGOs, corporates, and civil society.
“During the last 15 years we must have worked with more than 12 disasters and every time we have reached out to the ones in need. This is something far bigger than anything that has happened in the past, and our strength that is community reach has become our weakness in this scenario as being physically present on the ground is challenging. We are constantly guiding and training our health teams to deliver primary health needs to the underserved community by way of tele-counselling. Safety for one and all is our priority.” said Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder, and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation.
Smile Foundation has developed a two-pronged strategy to mitigate this crisis and aims to reach 1,50,000 such families in phases by providing dry ration thus, securing them against goods scarcity in the wake of a possible virus outbreak and basic necessity kit as part of immediate relief for a month in the current times arising out of COVID-19. The kits include rice, dal, salt, oil, sugar, masks, sanitary pads, soap to name a few and other essentials.
Smile Foundation has now started providing online medical assistance and tele-consultation across affected areas of the country thereby providing healthcare services at home digitally and increasing awareness towards social distancing and hygiene.
Prior to the lockdown, more than 180 healthcare professionals (including doctors, paramedical staff, community health workers) were on the field every day through Smile’s mobile unit “Smile on Wheels“ to spread awareness about protection from #COVID-19 to the most vulnerable population, living in 1000 communities spread across 19 States.