The phrase ‘rise up to the occasion’ fits perfectly with the efforts that two of the community mobilizers, Manju & Savita showed on the ground amidst the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak at one of the project location, Surat Nagar Phase 2 Gurugram. Surat Nagar phase 2 is an urban slum where we can find a large number of people in the unorganized sector and daily wagers, the sector which was largely hit by the lock down situation to prevent the spread of the corona pandemic.
All this started with lock down when there was a sudden suspension of all field activities at once and the whole team was asked to work from home. Quite clearly, working from home was not something that would align with the role of the mobilizers and realizing the situation is worsening for the underprivileged people, the mobilizers were decided to step up in order to help the community out of this unprecedented crisis.
They connected with the local leaders over phone calls, reached out to local government officials and all local grassroots organizations and made every necessary effort to make sure that the deprived ones are taken care of. They were able to mobilize the availability of cooked food directly provided to the people from the Nigam office (local government office and are continuously creating awareness on maintaining social distance and hygiene in the community.
In a situation, where almost all of the population is confined to their houses, the worst affected are the daily wage workers like the ones residing in Surat Nagar. Their mental health suffers in an unexpected way due to the lack of income and the possible difficulties they will face in surviving through the lockdown. Through telephonic calls and text messages, a constant check of the beneficiaries is being kept by Savita and Manju to help them deal with the stress of the current situation and bring all the support they might need in these testing times.
In the past 3 weeks, these mobilizers have also facilitated four institutional deliveries by helping pregnant women understand the signs of labor and bringing them to the hospital and ensure that these women get the necessary medical attention during childbirth.
The two mobilizers also ensured that the people of the communities they serve do not struggle to feed themselves. With the help of Smile Foundation, they helped our volunteers to facilitate smooth implementation of the initiative of providing relief to underprivileged people through the distribution of dry rations. The kit will consist of food, medicines, soap, and sanitizer for people to maintain both health and hygiene.
Both women not only took adequate measures to sanitize the venue of relief distribution but also conducted a session to spread awareness among the masses on the need to protect themselves from the spread of the novel corona pandemic.
Staying in the same community and tackling many odds in their own lives, Manju and Savita have set an example of empathy and resource mobilization. Without the assistance of such dedicated grassroots level workers, Smile Foundation would have succeeded in distributing over a million meals to people across the country. Our strength lies in our partners who are true warriors in this time of emergency.
Help provide relief to the underprivileged https://www.smilefoundationindia.org/smile-fights-covid19/