Covid-19 Relief Response

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COVID-19 Relief Response

On the road towards recovery of the Elderly

The COVID-19 Pandemic has unfolded new realities for the populace across India. The brunt of the burden has disproportionately fallen on the elderly. They have not only been placed at a significantly heightened risk of infection, due to lower immunity levels and pre-existent co-morbidities, but have also been left in the lurch due to lack of supportive services. The latter would have otherwise addressed their physical and psychosocial needs. The current discourse in the country is centred on this geriatric demographic. The elderly are struggling as the most affected population segment in the pandemic.

In Dignity Foundation the poor elderly have already been the beneficiaries of multi-pronged enrichment programmes across 7 cities we operate in India. But the pandemic heightens our focus, and we have, on an emergency basis, responded to the crisis through special permissions of the Police and a volunteer battalion that signed up to reach help and assistance at their doorstep. While a lot more needs to be achieved to navigate them through these adversities, we have made a beginning.

 2500+ Ration Kits

Dignity Foundation supports food relief through monthly supplies of dry ration for the elderly across urban slums of Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune.

Even though senior citizens live in joint families, they are left to fend for themselves. As is attested by members who attend our Day Care Centers in 3 cities they are not wanted at home. For the day they need to find shelter outside of their children’s home/hut. For example there is an unwritten rule that they should eat the last. These vulnerabilities have got intensified in the face of the pandemic due loss of jobs. The very subsistence has become a question mark. While relief packages of the Govt. and universalisation of the Public Distribution System (PDS) have been sought as measures to reach out to the needy, these have been largely inadequate to reach out to these segments. The food crisis in poor families is very visible to the naked eye. Lack of official documents such as Ration card or Aadhar card has excluded the migrant population from utilising these benefits. Dignity Foundation has been striving to effectively fill in these gaps.

 600+ Sanitation Kits

Basic protection measures as masks, sanitizers were provided to the elderly residing in the slums of 7 cities.

Every City Chapter has undertaken reach out initiatives to supply the kits raising donations. To both secure them as well as prevent further transmission of the infection, these protection measures were provided.

Essential Commodities Kit Items Qty (Single Person) Qty (For Couple)
Ration Kit Wheat flour 5 Kg 10 Kg
Rice 2 Kg 4 Kg
Oil 1 Kg 1 Kg
Tur Dal (Pigeon Pea) 1 Kg 1 Kg
Rice 2 Kg 4 Kg
Moong Dal (Split Green Gram) 1 Kg 1 Kg
Tea 0.25 Kg 0.50 Kg
Sugar 1 Kg 1 Kg
Poha (Puffed Rice) 500 Kg 1 Kg
Rava (Semolina) 1 Kg 1 Kg
Jaggery 1 Kg 1 Kg
Moong (Green Gram) 500 Kg 1 Kg
Channa Dal (Bengal Gram) 500 Kg 1 Kg
Sanitation Kit Soap 2 Units 4 Units
Masks 5 Units 10 Units
Sanitizer 1 Unit 1 Unit
Vitamin B Complex for Immunity Building (with Zinc and Vit C) 30 Tab 60 Tab

 Psychosocial Counselling To Elderly And Their Families

Psychosocial support is being delivered over telephone as physical access to our centres got blocked. Dignity Helpline Services and tele-counselling at the day care centres are being undertaken by managers who were running the centre and provide them with necessary emotional support.

Interruption in continuum of services such as closure of day care centres for the elderly has hindered physical activity and psycho-social stimulation. The repercussions have been reported by them through experience of psychosomatic symptoms such as body-ache and pain. Along with this, increased uncertainties, fear about the disease itself necessitates the need for counselling. They require a strong counsel for continuing with their physical activities such as daily exercises, short walks in late evenings within the safety of their premises, following the Person Density Restrictions etc. Dignity Helpline services additionally continued to provide professional legal and financial counselling dealing with elder abuse and eviction.

  COVID-19 Awareness outreach to 9600 + people

Dignity Foundation in a joint project with Greater Chennai Corporation initiated a Community Intervention Programme for behavioural change in the Kannagi Nagar slums to generate awareness on COVID-19.

The major objective of the project has been to usher in knowledge of precautionary measures to prevent COVID-19. Through this, Dignity Foundation is reaching out to 2,400 families with a total population of 9,600. The key activities conducted are door-to-door surveys, organising interpersonal communication sessions on prevention and control methods which include personal hygiene, hand washing demonstrations, identification of potential transmission sites or surfaces in the intervention sites, etc. Dignity Foundation organised two IEC programmes creating awareness through placards with slogans and offering information about the virus as well as a street play, adhering to physical distancing norms, highlighting the disease and its complications.

Call for Action

The need of the hour is to critically and collectively respond to the needs of the elderly severely affected. Dignity Foundation therefore appeals for financial support from individuals, companies and philanthropies to ensure that its relief initiatives are scaled and enabled to reach out to these vulnerable segments across the country, who yet await for aid.

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