COVID-19  India Project #45154

Covid-19: Aid to Rural Communities in India

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

Dear Change Maker,

The Covid-19 situation is tough, but we in Seva Mandir believe humanity is an overpowering force that can conquer the toughest of scenarios and coldest of hearts. The pandemic has created an unprecedented situation which has impacted every section of the society, but the migrants and small farmer communities had to pay a lot in this crisis. Livelihood loss was not only seen in the urban areas, but the rural areas also suffered its impact. It has created serious implications on the lives and livelihood of the people.

With the lockdown and the new normal suspending all forms of work, most underdeveloped regions in our working area now face penury and deprivation. 

From the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in India, Seva Mandir began relief efforts to support families who were most in need in Udaipur and Rajsamand districts. Seva Mandir’s focus is now on developing and implementing long-term relief for communities and individuals through its livelihood interventions.

Here is a case of how our programme has supported Paru and her family succeeds in dealing with this pandemic situation-

Paru, a middle-aged woman; resides in Paba village in south Rajasthan. She, along with her husband and the family of 6 are solely dependent on traditional farming for leading their lives. Earlier, they were cultivating some seasonal vegetables and crops but were not able to make any income since it would get consumed in the family. In 2019, Paru got associated with our Women’s Empowerment program and cultivated marigold flowers. She earned Rs. 25,000 ($337) in the very first year of her involvement.

During the pandemic in 2020, this money that she made proved to be a vital source to run her household. This year, she has again taken up floriculture and she has already sold flowers worth Rs. 16,000 ($215) till October 2020. Now that she has learned the art of floriculture by undergoing rigorous capacity building trainings under the intervention, she can sustain this earning in the coming years and can look forward to a better future for her children.

She exclaims- “Being traditional farmers for ages, I have never ever earned this much! I have now started dreaming of my children being educated by these earnings and lead a better life.”

Seva Mandir is building the capacity of individuals, families and communities to adapt to the new normal and continue in leading their own development. We are committed to continuing to serve the communities we work with, and we know you will be too.

As per research, when we help someone, our feel-good hormone and brain activity increases. We are impacting society by doing what we are good at. In this way, we lose the feeling of isolation and feel involved in the good cause. We gain confidence with a sense of pride and integrity. Our anger, stress, and anxiousness reduce with this noble work of helping people in need, will stay away.

When you are a part of something bigger, which is about helping underprivileged people, always gives satisfaction. It feels good to be a catalyst in the process of uplifting people and making this society better.

To reiterate our statement where we started – we do believe in humanity and generosity in YOU to carry forward this noble vision of ours to help aiding rural communities during the Covid-19 scenario.

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

Regards

Atul Lekhra and the Seva Mandir team

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Dear Friend,

Covid-19 has spread widely across India and the wide-ranging consequences of the pandemic and the lockdown have started to emerge. Our working areas of Udaipur and Rajsamand districts has seen a rise in the positive cases and are now amongst the most severely affected regions in Rajasthan.

During this period, Seva Mandir has increased relief efforts to support families living in villages and urban slums of Udaipur and Rajsamand districts. Until now, we have provided more than 50,000 relief kits for sanitation, food, storing grain and personal protection. Our comprehensive awareness campaign on Covid-19 has focused on the symptoms of Covid-19, how to protect those most at risk, quarantine methods, and more. Additionally, Seva Mandir is also coordinating with the government to support their own relief efforts.

Millions of migrant workers have embarked on a treacherous journey back to their homes, mostly to rural villages. They have lost their jobs and can no longer provide an essential means of income for their families. When they arrive home, they become an extra mouth to feed, putting pressure on already meagre household resources.

As a solution for this, we have initiated activities to provide people with locally based jobs that focus on land and water resource development. Additionally, our teams are preparing plans with farmers to arrange seeds and other inputs needed for the monsoon agricultural season. We are also reviewing our programmes and resume them gradually whilst adhering to the social distancing norms. One such story is from the village of Hamerpal, where the Village Institutions's quick and strong action is protecting the community from Covid-19.

Hamerpal is over 85 km from Udaipur city, located in the breath-taking Aravalli mountain range near the historic Kumbhalgarh fort. As with much of India, there has been a recent influx of migrant labourers returning to their rural homes after travelling, in some cases, hundreds of kilometres by foot. Not only have they lost the incomes that were so vital in supporting their families, but they also carry the risk of bringing Covid-19 back to their villages.

With the support of Seva Mandir, the Village Institution in Hamerpal, as with many other villages, began conducting health-checks of all returning migrants as soon as they arrived back in their village. Along with the panchayat (local government body), 45 families have been quarantined, and they are being provided with food, water and sanitation materials. So far, no cases of Covid-19 have been found in this area.

Many of the migrant laborers now see themselves as a burden. They have lost their job and cannot support their family financially. They are a potential source of infection, and, what is more, by returning they represent yet another mouth to feed. Seva Mandir is working in partnership with the Village Institutions to focus on providing long-term livelihood support to migrants and their families, helping them to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn. However, all families, even those not supported by a migrant laborer, are now struggling to access to the most vital necessities due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Seva Mandir's response is to help Village Institutions such as the one in Hamerpal to be vigilant in checking the health of all the families in the village and spreading awareness of Covid-19 and preventative measures. It is also delivering food and sanitation kits to be distributed throughout the communities. In Hamerpal, the Village Institution has provided 30 families with food kits containing grains, vegetables, spices and oil - enough to last five people for two weeks.

It is heartening to see the democratically elected Village Institutions facilitated by Seva Mandir are working tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of their communities. They are making sure the needs of their communities are met through support from the local government and Seva Mandir. The institutions are making every effort to keep the social fabric and support systems intact, and that the values of trust and cooperation among the communities continue. Now, the institution’s role is even more vital.

We are deeply grateful for your overwhelming support and messages of encouragement. Until now, over INR 6 million (USD 80,000) has been spent in providing relief. Now, it is essential that we look forward and begin the second phase of rehabilitation efforts. The economic consequences of Covid-19 are becoming apparent and the families and communities that we work with will be disproportionately affected.

We want to share with you that July 15th is the Bonus Day on GlobalGiving, donations from $100 will be matched (9:00:00 - 23:59:59 ET). The higher the donation, the higher the match! We have a long way to go and we trust that you will continuously support us.

Once again thank you for your valuable contribution. That has aided the families and communities to survive through this period of crisis till here.

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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Namaste,

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

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.

Families like Nathi’s:

‘Everyday is a struggle to feed my family. I’m a widow with 5 children to care for and no one hires widows here.’

Since her husband died, Nathi has had little to no income. Every day is a struggle just to survive. Her priority is her children, making sure that they have enough to eat, but when the Covid-19 arrived, everything became worse. ‘Covid-19 has brought havoc to my life.’ she explains.

Nathi lives in a rural and tribal community in Kumbhalgarh, an area famous for its historic fort. For village communities here, access to basic services is limited, and the Covid-19 lockdown has made it even harder for people to access essential goods such as food and sanitation materials.

The relief effort that you have supported is ensuring that families like Nathi’s have the supplies they need to survive the lockdown and avoid contracting the pandemic. Part of these relief efforts is the distribution of sanitation kits, containing soap and detergents enough for a family of five for two weeks.

‘A lady who works for Seva Mandir came to my home with a sanitation kit. She explained to me and my children how to use the soap and detergent properly.’

Maintaining high levels of hygiene during the Covid-19 pandemic is essential. The supply of these relief kits means that families can utilise their small savings for other essential things, such as food, so their families can survive the lockdown.

Until now, we have distributed 24,400 kits - 20,700 sanitation kits, 1,700 food kits, and 2,000 grain-storage kits. We are also aiding the government in their relief efforts.

However, there are still many more families left to reach, and you can help us provide lifesaving aid to them. You can renew your commitment to 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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Organization Information

Seva Mandir

Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @sevamandir
Project Leader:
Ronak Shah
Udaipur, Rajasthan India
$28,457 raised of $30,000 goal
 
187 donations
$1,543 to go
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