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Apr 30, 2020

Seva Mandir: Covid-19 Relief Efforts

Namaste,

We hope that you, your family and loved ones are in good health and safe.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought countries to a standstill in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus. India has been under lockdown since the end of March and, although it is necessary, it is having a huge effect on the economy. It is this economic downturn that is hitting families living in poverty the hardest. 

84% of the population Seva Mandir works with are subsistence farmers who struggle to make a living from their small landholdings. These farmers’ incomes had already been under pressure in recent years, due to low commodity prices, but a good monsoon season last year had given hope to the region that they could increase their production and sell more in the markets.

Then Covid-19 arrived and the situation worsened exponentially.

Seva Mandir is conducting a vast Covid-19 relief effort to provide aid to the hardest hit families in the rural and tribal areas we work in. Seva Mandir has experience of more than 50 years in working with communities to transform and improve their lives - and that is no different now.

The first priority is to keep people safe. Our ground staff and village workers, are ensuring that the families are practicing proper hygiene methods and are aware of the latest Government advice and regulations. As an organisation, we are responsible for the wellbeing, safety and security of our people.

We are distributing food kits (consisting of onions, potatoes, grains, rice, oil, spices, and salt) and sanitation kits (comprising of soap and detergent), both enough to last a family of 5 for 2 weeks. Importantly, we are also providing farmers with grain-storage kits and tarpaulins to increase the amount of food they can store – essential as the harvesting season approaches.

Until now, we have reached 24,300 families- distributing 19,100 sanitation kits, 1,500 food kits, and 2,000 grain-storage kits. We are also aiding the government in their relief efforts.

Many of these people are relying on the relief kits to survive this lockdown. People like Meera:

Meera had been working as a daily-wage labourer after the death of her husband. When the lockdown came, she lost her only means of making an income.

‘My situation is already so bad – I did not think it could get any worse.’ Meera explains. ‘But then the relief kits came from Seva Mandir, and suddenly I felt like my own family is here to help.’

However, there are still many more families left to reach, and you can help us provide lifesaving aid to them. You can give your support to our Covid-19 project by clicking here. Your donation to this fund will provide relief and support to the families of these communities during this challenging time.

You can be part of this effort whether it is by donating directly to Seva Mandir, by spreading the word of Seva Mandir to people you know, or just by sending us your messages of support.

You can keep up to date with our efforts on our dedicated Covid-19 page on our website. Click here to access it.

Once again, thank you for your unwavering support. Please stay healthy and keep social distancing.

Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

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Mar 24, 2020

Seva Mandir's response to Covid-19

Namaste,

The coronavirus has brought unprecedented challenges to the world and effected the lives of thousands of people. At the time of writing, Rajasthan has begun a lockdown of all non-essential businesses and services, as the Government ramps up preventative measures. Yesterday, the country took part in Jantana Curfew (People’s Curfew), which also celebrated the people at the front line of tackling this virus.

Hygiene practices are a weapon against coronavirus. Our field teams are working directly with the communities to ensure they are aware and are practicing proper hygiene practices. Such methods include one of the most important in preventing not just coronavirus, but many dangerous diseases – hand washing. This basic action can save lives.

We have taken all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our staff, field workers and community members. Some of the measures include:

  • All activities such as trainings, community meetings and awareness campaigns that involve gatherings have been put on hold
  • Center based activities such as pre-schools, bridge schools, youth centers, etc. have been closed for the safety of children, their families and workers
  • Information dissemination in communities and internal meetings are being done through online platforms and mediums
  • Construction activities and natural resources development has been put on hold
  • Staff and community workers are now working from home

We are continuously monitoring the situation in our work areas and are in touch with communities in case of any support needed.

We are committed, even during this tumultuous time, to continue to serve the communities we work with, and we know you will be too.

The world will come out stronger after we beat the coronavirus. We urge you all to follow the guidance of the authorities.

Thank you, and sending our best wishes for yours and your family and friends safety.

Regards

Atul Lekhra and the Seva Mandir team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Awareness posters on Seva Mandir's notice board
Awareness posters on Seva Mandir's notice board

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Mar 18, 2020

Protecting Shiksha Kendra Children from Covid-19

Namaste

The Coronavirus has brought unprecedented challenges to the world and effected the lives of thousands of people. At the time of writing, no cases have yet been reported in Udaipur as the Government ramps up preventative measures.

As an organisation, we are responsible not just for educating our employees about preventative measures and good hygiene practices, but also those who we work with, such as children in Shiksha Kendras (Seva Mandir’s Bridge Schools).

Hygiene practices, such as washing hands, are a weapon against Coronavirus. Proper hygiene practices have been are a regular part of Shiksha Kendras, so children already have the ability to combat this virus from the outset. They are being encouraged by the Shiksha Kendra teachers to use their knowledge to protect themselves and those around them. Without your support, this may not have been possible.

The Indian Government recently shut all schools until the 31st of March, and Seva Mandir has followed their advice and closed all Shiksha Kendras. This was a major decision for the organisation, as the importance of education for these children is a priority. However, considering the severity of the ongoing situation, ensuring the children and their family are healthy is most important.

As the teachers are from the remote communities themselves, they are able to check in on the children and their families to ensure that they are ok, giving advice where needed.

Thanks to your support, you have given these children and teachers and the knowledge and tools to help prevent this virus from spreading in rural and tribal communities.

We have faith that the Rajasthan, India, and the world will be able to weather this storm as we have weathered many in the past.

Please ensure to follow your local authority’s advice on how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Regards

Atul Lekhra and the Seva Mandir team

 

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Instagram - www.instagram.com/seva_mandir_official

Twitter – www.twitter.com/sevamandir

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