May 2, 2021

Response to the second wave of COVID

Lining up for admission to our COVID care center
Lining up for admission to our COVID care center

As you are no doubt aware, the second wave of COVID is devastating India and we are extremely grateful for your support which will go some way to helping us get through this.

Ahmednagar District, where Snehalaya operates is one of the worst hit with no beds, oxygen or medicines available to our largely rural population of nearly 5 million. High unemployment, a severe lack of statutory healthcare. drought, poverty and a large transient population has historically perpetuated many issues for low-income families, most of whom earn their living from agriculture or daily wage work including many migrant workers.

Since March 2021, a flood of positive cases has rendered the already overburdened medical facilities throughout the district insufficient. We have seen a steep rise in the number of Corona positive patients and at the start of April, Times of India reported it was in the top ten worst affected districts in India with over 1,000 new cases a day; the current number of reported active cases stands at over 23,000. With high completion for the limited number of beds, oxygen and medicines available, the costs required to access these facilities are sky-rocketing with opportunists driving a highly inflated black market.

To relieve the burden on medical facilities, those testing positive with minor or no symptoms are advised to self-quarantine. However, for those on low or no incomes who live in very small houses or slum dwellings isolation of COVID positive family members is simply not realistic. For those with more serious symptoms the lack of resources and inflated fees involved in gaining what treatment is available is beyond their reach. As everyone comes under psychological and financial pressure cases of trafficking, child marriage and domestic violence are also increasing and, with many businesses and government offices closed or reduced, there is very limited access to support services.

In the first wave of the pandemic last year, we helped over 300,000 people and with your help, we have been putting pressure on authorities to intervene and manage the situation. We are also taking a more direct approach, adapting, expanding and initiating new projects to provide vital support to as many of the 175,000 plus people in our district who have tested positive since the start of the pandemic, including providing financial aid to families whose main earner has died.

We have also transformed our 30-bed hospital dedicated to the care of HIV+ patients to focus on COVID patients - currently managing over 70 patients a day. We have also created a COVID Care Center for up to 150 asymptomatic patients at a time, including many of our own beneficiaries, including children and those living with HIV. This too is working over capacity to treat as many of the people living in our district as possible.

At the same time, we are distributing thousands of masks and hygiene kits while also desperately trying to source oxygen concentrator machines and other essential supplies. Outreach work, ambulance services and our community radio are helping us to reach out to communities in all corners of our district. The challenge is tough but with your support we are dedicated to providing immediate support and relief to everyone in need.

Thank you, by adding your donation, you are literally working alongside us to save lives. We couldn't do it without you and we are extremely grateful and encouraged by your actions to ensure our health and safety, please do stay safe yourself.

Our team - here to help all
Our team - here to help all
Lobbying for better systems of support & relief
Lobbying for better systems of support & relief
Responding to calls for help
Responding to calls for help

Links:

Mar 16, 2021

Delivered Online Education To Snehalaya Child

We all know that during the last year of lockdown, there was an adverse effect on schools and education. All these conditions caused great damage to the children's studies. As a solution to all this, online education was found. Teachers in all schools tried their best for the study of children.An online education system has been launched to enable our children in the slum areas of Snehalaya to have night schools as well as English medium schools and at present it is going on.

 We should never forget that, As Malala said “One book, one pen, one child & one teacher can change the world”. 

 As you know, at Balbhavan we work on to deliver basic education to Sevavasti [slum] Childs those are from Ahmednagar & outside also. It makes a very perfect blend of education, health & value education. Also In our school we work on to deliver education in English Medium. We are working whole heartedly with a single goal in mind to promote education for brighter career & also reform each student to face the outside world.

The real game changer here is "Teacher".  A qualified, trained, passionate, affectionate and a teacher who loves his/her profession can shift the paradigm of the entire education system.

Friends all of us need to “plan the work & also work the plan”. We need to improve ourselves every day.Balbhavan & School teachers are an excellent example of this. Their usual endeavor is to provide these Childs with the necessary, useful & skillful education for lead their life.  Our teachers are taking advantage of the opportunity of lockdown and give the children a chance to smile and realize the dream. On this occasion, teachers have created a whatsapp group of each center. And busy in sending projects, assignments, activities and e-content to children through online medium so that children can utilize them. This is a golden opportunity for teachers to upgrade themselves for Childs development. They are specializing in the field of on-line teaching, e-content, self-creation of videos, lesson plans and assignments. 

Everyone have unlimited time lab like home and all the resources of the world readily available on the Internet. The entire houses were using as a learning center for children. Childs were busy in E-classes, projects, activities, fun, games, video shoots and a lot of such activities. Teachers are sharing various useful videos using you tube channel. There will not be golden opportunity like this again to fulfill Childs hobbies and interests.  So our child are studied  through online classes, they are enjoying  music, dance, drama, playing, singing, speech/declamation, theater, dress designing, interior designing, drawing, painting, robotics and other courses. Also children’s are making small videos of these activities and send them to teachers & friends also. They are busy in creating new lyrics, songs, albums, dialogues, poems, stories, plays, novels, diaries, reportage, jokes, speeches using their creativity. Also our teachers take daily assembly for inculcating value education among children.  These activities not only increase their creativity, sensitivity, festivity, tolerance and humanity but also eliminate (the feeling of) violence, stress, depression and frustrations.  We believe most growing success is nothing but inner fire. It is Snehalaya which is always helped to Childs to find that inner fire in this Childs. Balbhavan & School has been nurturing students not only with talent but also with extracurricular activities.Turning this difficult time into an opportunity, we are trying to turn every house into a learning and skill center. Our teachers are always striving for the development of our children. Each of the children and activists took care of their own health as well as the health of the parents and children in the service area and took care of the corona by fulfilling their responsibility to reach the doorstep of education. Not to be outdone!!!

The most special thing is that no one has yet faced a crisis like Corona in the service area where we are functioning. This is the ideal thing for everyone.On the one hand, the country is fighting to overcome Corona; while on the other hand, the students who are shaping the future of this country are studying so that their education is not disrupted. This determination will help these children to reach the peak of success in the future. For this, the activists of Balbhavan & school are working hard for the development of children without thinking of themselves and it will continue to do so.

 

 

Mar 13, 2021

Fight Against Covid-2019

 

The residents of a slum have been living under a constant, unsettling threat of eviction. Developed under the central government scheme in India, the slum redevelopment project in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra is collaboration between the slum dwellers, Snehalaya and CSDC. Residents of Sanjaynagar are active participants in the design process.

Sanjaynagar is a slum in Ahmednagar city in Maharashtra, home to 298 families. The redevelopment plan addresses the need for formal housing for these families, while also providing safe and adequate community spaces, preserving the strong social fabric and bonding of the community. 

As the first in-situ slum development project in this district, the initial focus of CSDC and its partners has been on trust building and empowering the residents of the slum to take on the development and construction of their homes. The apartments have been designed with the help of the residents such that they allow for multiple iterations and combinations based on the needs of the families. To retain the social fabric of the slum, the G+2 buildings have been designed around seven courtyards of varying sizes, a community center, gymnasium, a government-run creche or aanganwadi, shops, etc.

While slum redevelopment in itself may be rather mainstream, the Sanjaynagar project has been developed with design, social and financial components unique to the needs and aspirations of the community. The success of this participatory model has the potential to impact housing policies and help build thousands of such thoughtfully designed communities in the future.

 

Community Representatives (CRs) are young men and women from the Sanjaynagar Slum who help with the work at the slum redevelopment site and act as facilitators between the residents and the architects from CSDC. During the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown, most families lost their livelihood and were struggling to feed themselves. The CRs rose to the occasion and helped galvanise resources to help their neighborhood survive the hardships.

 

Watch the video to learn more about our efforts.

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