Hi! Hope you are safe and well protected from the adversities inflicted by COVID.
The second wave that gripped the world has hit India hard and particularly the Dadra & Nagar Haveli villages are reeling under its impact, with the death toll rising steeply, hospitals overburdened and misinformation, superstition wreaking havoc among these tribals. ACT is making every effort to spread the awareness and provide assistance and correct understanding to staff, resource persons and beneficiaries. Dr C H Asrani, with medical expertise and experience over 40 years, gave helpful advice to our local community mental health workers to tackle misinformation and shared the Covid safety do’s and don’ts in a virtual zoom meeting- simple tips were shared in slides, shown here. Community Mental Health Trainer - Pravin Madur, from our Knowledge Partner Ummeed emphasised the importance of staying connected to avoid feeling lonely & sharing out loud, any mental anxieties arising due to COVID.
In March 2021, we also celebrated and honoured our 15 community mental health workers in a graduation ceremony as they completed two years of intense training on building trusting relationships with 1000+ villagers across 10 villages and creating mental and emotional safe spaces for children, youth and women. They are already working among the beneficiaries across 100 hamlets. But due to Covid, personal home visits have stopped and group community interventions and meetings have been pushed back. It is a remarkable achievement for these local tribal community people to emerge as mental health workers who can help families to cope with the ongoing COVID blues as well as overcome psycho social barriers that hamper their development.
Our agri entrepreneur women, among whom we found 40 outliers with great success and higher income in dairy farming and organic vegetable growing were reaping the benefits of the capacity building and supervision provided to them through funds donated by our various GlobalGiving and other donors. As on February 2021, their average incomes doubled and more over a two year period versus February 2019. They are able to show the way to other women in their respective 15 villages on how to increase productivity, cash crops, verni compost as fertiliser, best cattle feed mix for higher fat % protein rich milk fetching higher price per litre, and most crucially, the market linkages to sell and generate income in the most profitable manner.
We pray for your and indeed everyone's safety and for the COVID nightmare to abate and for all those who have lost loved ones in a losing battle against Covid we also hope that our organisation and staff also recover from severe personal constraints due to over work stress- work from home and work for home, illness or worse caused by Covid and stretched resources.