COVID-19  India Project #47844

COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India

by Milaan Be the Change(NGO)
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Rural India
Poonam - young mother's vaccination
Poonam - young mother's vaccination

Dear Supporter,

We are continuing to strengthen the role of Government Community Health Centers (CHCs) and women health workers in rural villages of Uttar Pradesh to increase vaccination uptake. These women health workers and CHCs serve as the only healthcare system for millions of community members in rural India. 

With your support, we have so far mobilized and vaccinated more than 1,90,000 community members. 

Meet 30-year-old Poonam a new mother of a 10-month-old infant and a vaccine sceptic. Coming from a low-income family from an isolated village in Uttar Pradesh, Poonam was scared of what the effects of the vaccine would be on her child. 

As a lactating mother, there was no one to give her advice or information on the effects of the vaccine. During a survey done by Milaan along with health workers, her case was brought to attention. Our team supported the concerned mother and raised her awareness by sharing correct information about the COVID-19 vaccine to come around. After weeks of awareness and counselling, Poonam finally got herself vaccinated. Poonam is now fully vaccinated :) 

After getting vaccinated, Poonam shared that she did not face any problem and has become a vaccine advocate for new mothers in her village.

Like Poonam, we are prioritizing our support for pregnant mothers, handicapped or differently-abled and senior citizens to help them overcome vaccine hesitancy and get vaccinated. 

With your continuous support, our team can continue to work on the ground and ensure no one is left behind. With vaccines now available for 15-18 years olds, we’re concentrating our efforts to vaccinate the youth population that resides in villages of Uttar Pradesh. 

We still have miles to go and millions to reach! Donate today 

Community Awareness Raising Meeting
Community Awareness Raising Meeting

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Vaccination Camp in Reusa block of Sitapur, U.P.
Vaccination Camp in Reusa block of Sitapur, U.P.

In rural Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh concerns about COVID-19 vaccines are now increasingly commonplace.  A large majority of community vaccination camps were reporting very low or no vaccination uptake by the community. 

Lack of health education, widespread myths and misinformation has been leading to vaccine hesitancy. Grassroots health workers have been struggling to respond to the rumors--that vaccines can cause impotence, for instance--and suspicions that the COVID-19 vaccine is a ploy by the government to kill people. Some people, also believe that they simply do not need vaccination. All of this is making it harder for them to convince people. 

With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly clear that vaccinating the population against COVID-19 is key in preventing deaths and pausing the mutation of the virus into a stronger and more infectious variant. Out of the total population in India eligible for vaccination, a whopping 564 million of them reside in rural areas. The challenges of vaccinating the majority of India where poverty, lack of information, limited access to healthcare services, and illiteracy are widespread, vaccination efforts become a formidable task. 

Milaan began investing in this urgent and critical movement by conducting primary research and assessing needs on the ground. 

There is a dire need to address the vaccine hesitancy and mobilize communities to vaccination camps. Taj Banu, an ASHA worker with 15 years of experience in Aladatpur village where not a single person got vaccinated during the two-day free vaccination camp said, There are many rumors going around about death and severe reactions after vaccination that makes people fear for their life. Even when I tell them that I am vaccinated and I am well and alive, they are still not willing to believe in the safety of vaccines”.

The team members of Milaan set out with the primary objective to understand the challenges of healthcare workers in influencing the people towards vaccination and what could be effective strategies to increase the rates of vaccination in the district. The team spoke to Health superintendents, ASHA, andANM workers to get a holistic and diverse perspective on the issue. The research entailed personal interviews with the above stakeholders and focus group discussions with ASHA and ANMs in 5 blocks of Sitapur.

Saroj Kumari, an ANM in the Tambour block said, Currently, we have no written or illustrative material to support our mobilization, it would be very helpful if we can distribute brochures or place posters around the villages to make people more aware of the precautions to take and persuade vaccination.” 

Dr. Ali, the Health Superintendent at CHC Mohali that serves a population of 145,000 identifies the difficulties in mobilization as the trauma from falling sick and fever is deep and scary for the patients. From his interactions with community members, he shares, “People think, I am getting a vaccine to prevent fever and illness from COVID-19 but it is exactly what is happening to me in any case. So why should I - a healthy person at this moment - voluntarily go get jabbed and fall sick?” Added with this is the loss of livelihood and workday that puts financial strain on their income coupled with increased cost and expenses on treating the illness in case of complications. Therefore highlighting the preventive and precautionary purpose of the vaccine is highly challenging in communities that are poor and under-resourced who cannot afford to risk the loss of income or added expenditure today for a future mishap that may or may not occur. 

Compiling our learnings and insights, it became increasingly clear that we must focus our attention on vaccination and delve into strategies to reduce recorded vaccine hesitancy, and enhance vaccination rates. As many challenges were presented in the study, we laid a plan that included the voices from the ground of stakeholders who understood the socio-cultural nuances that influence health-related behavior in communities.

Milaan is responding to the vaccine hesitancy by working directly with Community Health Centers and ANMs responsible for vaccination and working on increasing the vaccination rates. Supported by the primary research, we have identified 4 blocks in Sitapur with the lowest vaccination rates and high vaccine hesitancy; Reusa, Behta Tambour, Siddhauli and Rampur Mathura.

A range of appropriate BCC materials i.e. 4 posters, 1 leaflet, 1 booklet were developed in the Hindi language to provide accurate and scientific information that people easily understand and trust. With the objective to enable them to make informed decisions to adopt COVID-19 precautions and get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families, and communities.

36 Milaan team members are closely working with CHCs to support frontline health workers for promoting COVID-19 appropriate behavior, holding community meetings, leading community mobilization for COVID-19 vaccination camps, planning and executing vaccination camps, and also provide logistical and documentation support required during the camp.

A total of 30,000 community members have been vaccinated with the support of our teams in all four blocks.

Your continued support to the project will strengthen our urgent and ongoing efforts to vaccinate the rural population in Uttar Pradesh. 

BCC material developed by Milaan for awareness
BCC material developed by Milaan for awareness
Our team registering community for Vaccinations
Our team registering community for Vaccinations

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ASHA workers disturbuting COVID-19 medicine kits
ASHA workers disturbuting COVID-19 medicine kits

In the battle against COVID-19, rural areas were always the most vulnerable with inadequate testing facilities, healthcare, and lack of awareness. Unlike the first wave, the second wave has traveled deeper in rural areas of India and spreading much faster. The deadly second wave of COVID-19 has collapsed the biggest of health care providers in the country. Volunteers, organizations, and the government have tirelessly been working to provide aid and fulfill the shortage of oxygen, beds, and medicines in urban India.

Already, rural areas are the most vulnerable with inadequate testing facilities, healthcare and a rising crisis of an acute shortage of basic medicines to treat Covid-19 has crumbled the very few and handful health care services in rural villages. In the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the largest population of India resides, the common and growing fear of ‘Viral fever’ has left the villagers helpless. Rural areas are far from getting oxygen cylinders, a large majority of the population in villages are succumbing to death due to medicine shortage to treat even the mildest symptoms of Covid-19 such as fever. Lack of or limited access to testing capabilities means a large majority of cases are neither detected nor recorded. With no access to even the most basic of medicines like Paracetamol, Zinc, Vitamin C, Antibiotics along with the absence of oximeters and thermal scanners, etc, the community health workers are left powerless and burdened against the growing cases. 

A plethora of evidence continues to be highlighted by the medical fraternity around the world that the most common symptoms of Covid-19 such as fever, cough, etc can be treated at home with routine antibiotics. According to WHO, 80 percent of people recover from Covid-19 without needing hospital treatment. With either no health care centers or collapsed ones, most of the common symptoms of COVID-19 cases are failing to be treated, leading to unprecedented deaths in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh.

For the last 13 years, Milaan has been committed to serving the most vulnerable communities in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh where 80% of its population is under the poverty lines. With our school situated in the heart of Sitapur, our COVID-19 rapid response team is working directly with the ONLY health delivery infrastructure of the government in Sitapur and supporting 17 Community Health Centers and a resilient workforce of 1000+ women frontline health workers known as ASHA and ANM. 

With support from donors like you, we have been able to respond to the most pressing need of basic medicines required to treat COVID-19 patients and deliver 10,000 medicine kits consisting of the most essential medicines required to treat the symptoms of COVID-19 in-home care. This has further enabled the army of ASHA and ANMs who work within the communities and visit families to effectively respond and stop the spread of the virus. 

The need in rural areas is much graver, as rural communities battle the second wave and prepare for the third, actively responding to the urgent needs of healthcare systems in these villages and taking action can save millions of lives. Our goal to deliver 10,000 medicine kits has grown to 50,000 medicine kits in a matter of few days. Your continuous support and action can help us deliver a large-scale impact and serve the most vulnerable voices of India. 

Delivery of medicine kits at CHC in Sitapur, UP.
Delivery of medicine kits at CHC in Sitapur, UP.

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Covid-19 Awareness Campaign by Girl Leaders
Covid-19 Awareness Campaign by Girl Leaders

Dear Friend, 

 

At Milaan, our work focuses on educating and empowering adolescent girls to become change agents for their families and communities. We envision a world where every girl has knowledge, skills, and a social environment to pursue her dreams and explore her full potential. By 2030 Milaan aims to work with 10 million adolescent girls in India with a thriving network of changemakers and networks. 

In midst of the pandemic, we shifted our operations completely to respond to the rising need for food in the most vulnerable communities. We activated our grassroots network of 374 girl leaders in 4 states of India to map the impact in their communities and respond to the families. Our girl leaders have been trained over two years on a leadership development program that enables them to work for their communities. 

Passionate to lead change and help their communities during the most challenging times, our girl leaders with their network of 10,000 adolescent girls took the frontlines. Apart from building awareness through hand-made posters, they have identified families especially women sole earners, pregnant women, and widows to help women with no support structures survive the pandemic.

2000 such families and 10,000 individuals were supported with ration because of the courage and proactiveness shown by our girl leaders. 

"There are 5 members in my family, my mother being the sole earner, lost her job due to the lockdown due to which we faced difficulty in affording basic necessities. I was relieved to receive dry ration from Milaan". 

In the most unprecedented times, we saw the power of creating grassroots girl leaders! All over the world, young women are fighting for their rights and communities. Their resilience is paramount to build resilient communiites, break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, and violence being faced by girls and women in marginalized communities due to the pandemic. 

As the impact of crisis continues to deepen poverty, we are committed to helping communities in the rebuilding process and continue to build the agency for adolescent girls to address and mitigate myriad challenges faced by girls and women.

Your donation of $40 can support 10 individuals especially families with girls! We have come so far because you stood up to take action. Your continuous support can help us reach more families and continue making a lasting impact. 

Girl Leaders leading the fight against COVID
Girl Leaders leading the fight against COVID
Girl Leaders leading ration disturbution
Girl Leaders leading ration disturbution

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Ration procured for families in need
Ration procured for families in need

55 years old Vidyadevi lives in a remote village in Uttar Pradesh, India. The state accounts for the largest population in India with 200 million people. Most of these people live in socially and economically backward communities and the majority work as daily laborers. Vidyadevi’s husband passed away many years back, he left her with no savings to survive old age. She lives all by herself and worked as a cleaner in a school. The pandemic led to nation-wide school closures due to which Vidyadevi lost her job and her only means of livelihood. 

Our team has been continuously conducting phone surveys with a mission to provide urgent relief, especially to women-led households. During our survey, we came across Vidyadevi who was in dire need of food for herself. We immediately provided her with a ration kit for a month along with the medicines she needed. The ration kit consisted of 2 liters of cooking oil, 5 kgs of rice, 10 kgs of flour, 2kgs of lentils, 3 packets of spices, 5 kgs of potatoes, 1 kg salt, 1 kg of sugar, 1 kg of washing powder, and 2 soaps. 

Vidyadevi shares “I was extremely distressed with food running out, I have no support whatsoever, I am grateful to Milaan team for helping me out in this situation, if they had not come I don't know how I would have survived” 

Our team has identified thousands of families who are struggling to put food on the table as the pandemic continues to take a toll in India and the economical struggle continues. Many of these families have women as sole earners. 

This is by far the most difficult times for the communities we work with, Your generosity in these difficult times has helped us to reach over 1000 women like Vidyadevi. Please continue to support our relief activities, the pandemic continues to deepen the poverty pit of India. Your donation ensures a family has food on the table to survive this humanitarian crisis. 

Ration distribution to women
Ration distribution to women
Ration kits for disturbution
Ration kits for disturbution

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Organization Information

Milaan Be the Change(NGO)

Location: Gurugram, Haryana - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @supportmilaan
Project Leader:
Tina Kapoor
Gurugram, Haryana India
$2,152 raised of $40,000 goal
 
18 donations
$37,848 to go
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