COVID-19  India Project #45154

Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India

by Seva Mandir
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India

Faced with lower-than-average vaccination rates in Udaipur district (63.9% compared with 78.3% across Rajasthan as a whole for those aged 45+) and desperately low rates in the poorest tribal areas (as low as 6% in the poorest, most remote area in which our NGO works), Seva Mandir launched its Hum Sajag campaign. The name means ‘we are alert, prepared and ready’, and the campaign was a multi-pronged communication strategy focusing on three key aspects: building watch committees, training frontline staff in the use of technical tools and utilising local folk media, including ritualistic dance and street theatre, to combat vaccine hesitancy. The watch committees, consisting of village community members, Seva Mandir staff and other frontline workers, act as eyes and ears in the villages, working to understand the myths surrounding the virus and combat challenges presented by the lack of reliable information.

Designed using songs, dance and drama performed in the local languages, the theatre production was a creative solution devised by Seva Mandir to increase awareness and reduce vaccine scepticism. The narrative of the play was designed to be engaging and relatable to its audience, drawing on the existing caste and gender hierarchies in the villages and encouraging the audience to ask questions in the middle of the act. After the show, the local leaders and frontline workers told the audience where to find the nearest vaccination camps and answered questions.

In the last few months, Seva Mandir has helped set up 1,555 Covid-19 management bodies in the communities, and more than 14,000 people have been persuaded by institution leaders to get vaccinated. In this way, Seva Mandir has been able to support the government in boosting vaccination in the most remote villages of southern Rajasthan. More than 5,500 frontline workers are now equipped with safety and diagnostic kits, which include masks, sanitisers, oximeters and thermometers. Five community and primary health centres now have a diesel generator, which will help provide a steady electricity supply.

Seva Mandir’s Covid-19 campaign has helped strengthen partnerships within the rural health ecosystem, especially with frontline health workers and across all areas of administration. Through integrating awareness and relief efforts with intensive vaccination drives, Seva Mandir has been able to build community preparedness and mobilise people for vaccination.

All thanks goes to you and to all our supporters without whom this success would not have been possible. We hope that you will continue your precious support to our project.

Thank you again for your generous support. 

Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

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Dear Friend,

From all of us here in Seva Mandir we wish you and your family Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May the new year brings to you lots of love, laughter, and joy.

Using a combination of different traditional theatre forms and music Seva Mandir teams are reaching out in areas with the most vaccination hesitation in southern Rajasthan. Actors use popular folk songs to talk about many myths and fears of vaccination.

The story of the play revolves around a young man returning from his place of work with visible symptoms of Covid and refusing to either isolate or go for testing. Through regular communication and doubt clearing sessions, he is convinced that he must isolate, take proper treatment and then post-recovery get vaccinated. 

Through theatre and discussions, we are trying to clarify myths and many concerns.

In one of the shows in the Sarada area, we reached a village where vaccination hesitation was very high. Although there was a vaccination camp going on nearby, people were not motivated enough. After watching the play, many of the audience members understood the importance of getting vaccinated and got vaccinated.

Banshi, School Principal shares "When vaccination started in our area, I used to sit in camps for three days straight and not a single person came. I tried speaking with families to understand the reasons but instead, they questioned my intentions. It felt like the community felt we are here for some personal benefits through vaccination. Now, the fear is easing a bit and people are getting themselves vaccinated."

We would like to thank you and all our well-wishers for supporting our project because of which we are helping many people in need. We hope that you will continue your support to our programme.                

Thank you and Take care.

Best Wishes,

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

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Dear Friend,

Delwada is a peri-urban region situated about 25 kms away from Udaipur. There are almost 18 colonies here. During the second wave of Covid- 19, around 60 people were found positive out of which 8 people lost their lives. The vaccination rate was low here and the whole community was not vaccinated.  Despite several attempts by frontline health workers about the importance of vaccines, people weren't ready for vaccination. 

Seva Mandir started a campaign called Hum Sajag (We are Aware) for reaching out in areas with the most vaccination hesitation in southern Rajasthan, using a combination of different traditional theatre forms and music. The campaign extensively focused on spreading awareness about the virus and its spread. Through repeated meetings and persuasion, teams focussed on reducing fear and stigma around vaccination. In the beginning, only a few people joined but eventually, the number increased. Similarly, when the topic of vaccination was introduced in the community, the women of the community refused to take the vaccine because they had already lost their vaccinated family members. Some women shared their concerns about chronic diseases like thyroid, diabetes, heart problems and how they fear vaccines might have side effects for them. Even one of the woman said, "If I feed my child after getting vaccinated, the virus will come through milk in the child". After repeated meetings and individual follow-ups, the trust started building in. Now, more than 80% of the families have been vaccinated, and thank Seva Mandir for the efforts made.

This year the people of Delwara and other villages where Seva Mandir work celebrated the Festival of Lights- Diwali with confidence and without any fear, as most of the people are now vaccinated. After a long time once again life seems to be again coming back to normal.

All thanks goes to You and to all our supporters without whom this success would not have been possible. Manyyyyy... thanks to you. We hope that you will continue your precious support to our project.

Take care.

Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

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The second wave of Covid19 has brought about devastating effects across the Indian population, disproportionately affecting rural India as access to health care is well known to be inhibited in those geographies. In the light of this, Seva Mandir has been able to leverage its engagement with rural tribal communities and reached out to individuals in various capacities.

Seva Mandir is responding to this situation by undertaking the Covid Relief Work for the community which is hard hit by the pandemic. Also, it is implementing robust measures to protect its staff and the team of front liners who are undertaking the implementation of the relief work.

Last Year, with the support from friends like you we had distributed 52,200 kits (Sanitation Kits 37800, Sanitary Pads 2500, Food Kits 3200, Storage Kits 4200, Safety Kits 4500).

This year our approach was different and was not only on only distributing kits. In the second phase we reached 415 villages and our awareness outreach was 2.3 lakh people, we reached 978 covid affected families, a total of 2910 food kits; 3880 sanitation kits; 678 safety kits; 64 monitoring kits were distributed.

Additionally, oxygen concentrators are also being provided at the “local” Community Health Centers. To reduce the disease burden on an already exhausted public healthcare system, community healthcare workers on the grassroots are being provided with thermometers and oximeters to identify early symptoms and take immediate action.

This all certainly has not been possible without your support. We greatly appreciate your trust in Seva Mandir and for supporting our project. Your support is helping us in making changes in the lives of hundreds of people in need.

Thank you so much. Stay safe and well.

Warm regards,
Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team 

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir

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Thank you so much for your support to Seva Mandir and to the rural communities of southern Rajasthan. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and livelihoods. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating- millions of people lost their income sources and came into extreme poverty, while the number of undernourished people increased. Without the means to earn an income, many are unable to feed themselves and their families. For most, no income means no food. 

Your generosity helped us focus on the immediate needs of the people during the lockdown period and is now helping us in creating livelihood opportunities for the rural people. The average per capita income here is only Rs. 50 ($0.70) so creating new livelihood opportunities for people is very important.

It’s the time for solidarity and support, especially with the most vulnerable in our societies. Seva Mandir is committed to pooling its expertise and experience to support these communities in this crisis time. We are developing long-term sustainable strategies to address these challenges and also working on holistic rural development programmes. We are expanding livelihood opportunities through multiple ways.

‘Help from Seva Mandir has been a big relief - especially in this crisis.' explains Bhimraj, a farmer, who is able to support his family with the vegetables that he harvests, through the training and agricultural support he received through Seva Mandir’s programme. He further said ‘My family was not getting any income due to the Covid situation, but we have enough vegetables to feed ourselves. Thanks to Seva Mandir.'

A big thanks goes to you. Seva Mandir is continuously trying to improve the lives of the people living in this part of the world. We hope that you will continuously support us during this time of crisis. Only together can we overcome the intertwined economic, social and health impacts of the pandemic.

We are happy to share that we are participating in GlobalGiving’s Little by Little Campaign. All donations up to $50 per donor per organization will be matched at 50% by GlobalGiving till March 12th. So, you have the chance to take one small action and it will have more impact.

Once again thank you so much for being with us in our journey. 

Best Regards,

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

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Organization Information

Seva Mandir

Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @sevamandir
Project Leader:
Ronak Shah
Udaipur, Rajasthan India
$90,505 raised of $140,000 goal
 
418 donations
$49,495 to go
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