Provide COVID care kits to 50,000 ASHA workers. These kits contain thermal guns, oximeters, masks, gloves, aprons, sanitizers, handwashing liquid soap bottles, and handbook with information on COVID-19 disease.
Train ASHA workers on COVID-19 disease, containment measures, common signs and symptoms, home isolation protocols, usage of oximeters and thermal guns, and vaccine hesitancy.
Each ASHA worker will reach out to families in villages and create awareness about COVID-19, hygiene measures to prevent the disease, address COVID-19 and vaccines myths and stigma.
Work with Gram Panchayats and Primary Health Centers to equip ASHA workers on personal safety and precautions.
Work with the government to ensure substantial increase in the health budget to strengthen the Indian public health system.
ASHA workers are the pillars of delivering healthcare to rural communities. They go door-to-door educating people about maternal and child health, contraception, immunisation, and sanitation, as well as enrolling them in health programmes and monitoring the results. They also ensure immunization, give first aid, and administer antimalarial and anti-tubercular drugs and oral rehydration solutions (ORS). ASHA workers are an integral part in tackling COVID-19 spread in rural areas.
A survey conducted by Oxfam India in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh shows that only 75% ASHA workers were provided with masks and only 62% received gloves. This put the workers at in increased risk of contracting COVID-19.
We must once again fight the pandemic, which is now causing greater devastation in rural areas. Join our Mission Sanjeevani to overcome this crisis together.
Source: The Inequality Virus – India Supplement 2021
32-year-old Jagadeesh and his brother ran an eating joint in Karnataka’s Sira town. The brothers earned about Rs. 400 – Rs. 500 a day. The lockdown meant zero income for their family of eight people.
Along with our partner on ground, we decided to work with Jagadeesh to distribute cooked meals to migrant workers under our Pathik Project. This way, food was supplied to people walking home and Jagadeesh and his family also had a source of income.
Jagadeesh, with help from his family prepared meals for about 200 people for two days. They prepared the food at home, under sanitized conditions. “The money we got from these two days came at a very crucial time for all of us,” said Lakshamamma, Jagadeesh’s mother. Jagadeesh is now confident of taking on bigger food orders to cope with the pandemic.
Gitanjali Kandi ran a small shop on the footpath, selling fried groundnuts to tourists outside the Konark Sun Temple. Her husband worked has a daily wage labourer. Despite their meagre earnings, the couple were sending both their children to school. However, during the lockdown both Gitanjali and her husband lost their incomes. Eventually their savings also exhausted.
Oxfam India has been responding to the COVID-19 crisis across 16 states. Gitanjali’s was one of the families to whom we reached out in Odisha. We provided dry ration kits and Rs. 5000 cash to her family.
Though a small amount, the cash helped Gitanjali start her shop again after the lockdown was lifted. She bought raw groundnuts with the money and started processing it for sale. She also bought masks and sanitisers to comply with the health guidelines.
Millions of informal sector workers in India have been pushed to the brink of poverty. Although most of them lost their jobs during the lockdown, many workers in the frontlines – waste pickers and sanitation workers continued working.
24-year-old Swati, a waste picker continued picking waste from Pune’s Wagholi Gram Panchayat area. Since the income from waste picking was not enough to support her family, she used to segregate waste and sell scraps. But during the lockdown, with scrap stores shut, she lost almost half of her income and could not make ends meet.
As part of our response, Oxfam India has been reaching out to informal sector workers like Swati with dry ration, hygiene and safety kits. The dry ration includes rice, flour, pulses, salt, some spices, edible oil, sugar, and tea. Each kit serves a family of five for two meals for 30 days.
Oxfam India tried some innovative methods to ensure classes where not disrupted and children continued learning despite school closure. We engaged with School Management Committees and parents to identify volunteers in different villages. With help from school teachers, volunteers were trained to conduct offline classes while following COVID-19 related safety measures.
The volunteers follow a set routine. They teach at the same time every day and conduct recreational activities such as toy making and storytelling sessions, and play games to keep the children engaged.
"This is interesting and very useful, otherwise we would have fallen behind on our studies. Plus this also helps us to meet with our classmates," says Shivani Patel of class 7. Till date we have provided offline classes to over 1100 children across four districts in Uttar Pradesh.
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