COVID-19 Relief Response

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COVID-19 Relief Response

It was March, 2020 when Dignity Foundation stepped into a humanitarian response towards Senior citizens in the urban slums across six cities of the country who were impacted due to the pandemic. One year on, and with the more deadlier second- wave upon us, it has now stepped on to Phase 2 of its response which is all the more intensified considering the grave situation that has to be dealt on hand.

The pandemic has unfolded unprecedented realities for the underpriveleged geriatric populace across India, who are bearing a disproportionate brunt of it. 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. Each day counts now as a struggle for them to survive, gripped with fear and panic of impending death not only due to infection, but also hunger.

In Dignity Foundation the poor elderly have already been the beneficiaries of multi-pronged enrichment programmes across 7 cities we operate in India. But as the second wave heightens our focus, we have on an emergency basis, responded to the crisis through special permissions of the Police and a volunteer battalion that has signed up to reach help and assistance at their doorstep.

As we perceive at this point, there is a staggering target that lies ahead, which we have aligned ourselves on, to help the Senior citizens navigate through these adversities and help them return back to their normal. And to this, we have made a beginning.

 6000+ Ration Kits

Dignity Foundation has been supporting 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 increased in the face of the pandemic along the year with loss of jobs. Their 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 have been 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.

With their lives ravaged by the virus yet again this time of the year, at Dignity Foundation we have witnessed raging requests from communities and Samaritans to provide ration support. The battle for food has been even more struggling for migrants, single elderly and we have been striving hard to effectively fill in these gaps.

 5000+ Sanitation Kits

Basic protection measures as masks, sanitizers have been 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 Support To Elderly And Their Families

Psychosocial counselling is 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 operate the centres and provide them with necessary emotional support.

Interruption in continuum of services such as closure of day care centres for the elderly in the year has hindered physical activity and psycho-social stimulation. The repercussions were 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 required 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. Dignity Helpline services additionally provides professional legal and financial counselling dealing with elder abuse and eviction. Acknowledging the increased need along these times, we continually respond to SOS calls at scale from Senior citizens seeking information on health providers, vaccination support and emergency medical services alleviating their fears and anxiety.

  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.

Encouraging COVID-19 Vaccination

Relevant, authentic and appropriate information in accordance to the Govt. guidelines is being continually provided to Senior citizens to dispel fears and curb misinformation. Protocols that need to be followed for effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine like ex. gaps between doses, types of vaccine available along with other FAQs are being attended to. Dignity Foundation has been assisting with the registration process of the vaccine and arranging transportation to the public health facilities for the innoculation.

Call for Action

The need of the hour is to critically and collectively respond to the needs of the elderly severely affected by the pandemic. A crisis of this magnitude necessitates a highly scaled response and Dignity Foundation therefore appeals for financial support from individuals, companies and philanthropies to ensure that its relief initiatives are augmented to reach out to these vulnerable segments across the country, who yet await for aid.

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