The world as we knew is no longer the same as the disease that entered the human system from animals spread out across the globe. COVID-19 or coronavirus disease that was noticed by the people in late December last year in China has now infected an estimated 3 million people in 210 countries has not only challenged the healthcare system of the world but also the lifestyle of the common people had employed for decades and has also affected the routine of Smile’s Mission Education beneficiaries.
The disease has confined a third of the global population within their houses for the past month has affected all the established systems for work, education, essential commerce, recreation, health, and much more. Most of the people of the world today are living their regular lives on the telephone or the internet in some form. Whether to execute your office or attend classes or entertain oneself. People have had limited to no human contact in the last few weeks.
It is a necessary step required to break the chain of the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. India’s population has been under strict lockdown to cut the spread of the disease in the nascent stage which has so far been successful curbing the number of cases in the country. In the view of the present situation where a part of the population does not have the means to connect with relevant contact points for their needs, it becomes the responsibility of the abled to not leave behind and by helping and taking care of such people through communal contribution.
Smile Foundation has been actively working towards fulfilling its responsibility to the society and reaching out to the people who have no source of income as well as resources for survival due to the mandatory lockdown across the country.
Besides providing dry rations kits to the underprivileged communities living in urban slums, rural villages and remote areas, Smile Foundation, through its Mission Education vertical, is also addressing the urgent assistance required by such communities through tele-counseling and awareness sessions, associating with government and non-government agencies to help families in distress to reach out to people who can help them, and reaching out children who are being affected by the situation and experiencing emotions they do not fully understand.
The project coordinators of Mission Education centers around the country regularly call their student beneficiaries to spread awareness to the students, their families, and community stakeholders about COVID-19 and the means like practicing hygiene and physical distancing to protect themselves from contracting the disease. The children and their families are also provided with information related to important numbers to seek support in case of any symptoms of the disease or if they experience any personal crisis.
Children and their families are also being provided counseling to understand and deal with the stress and anxiety that everyone is experiencing due to limitations to movement and to human contact. So far, our coordinators have reached people living at the project locations in Siddharth Nagar, Bangalore, Gurugram, Gonda, Bharatpur, and more. Their progress and needs are also being tracked by our coordinators by checking up regularly with them and get an update on their health and needs.
Mission Education has also teamed with governmental and non-governmental agencies who are conducting local distribution of food and rations to the underprivileged communities. The representatives sharing the details of the local resource points as well as connect them with people who can provide them with essentials like food, water, or medicines in case of an emergency. Mission Education coordinators have been able to help desperate families facing difficult circumstances by reaching out to them remotely.
The field workers of Smile Foundation are also volunteering for the local administration to provide support to them to reach out to the maximum population for creating awareness and with the distribution of relief material in a shorter span of time.
In all our efforts, our most important tool has been technology which has helped in not letting any of our beneficiaries remain isolated from the help and relief they need to get through the COVID-19 crisis, for countering this pandemic does not just require the efforts from our medical workers and scientists but also the collective efforts of the masses and administration to bring everyone out of this crisis healthy and prosperous.