May 17, 2021

Rural Communities: Struggling with the 2nd Wave

Dear Friend,

The 2nd wave of COVID-19 across India has hit us harder than the first one. The entire health system of the country is out of its breath, due to the large number of patients needing treatment. At Seva Mandir, we still believe in the importance of precaution and prevention, and the only way to reduce the burden on a health system that has already been pushed to the limits. But the worst-affected are always the underprivileged and vulnerable communities. For them prevention is very important, as treatment is a bigger challenge.

The state of Rajasthan is under strict lockdown. Udaipur and parts of southern Rajasthan are severely impacted. Unlike last year, this time the rural region has been hit hard and large numbers of patients are reported from the villages.

During this medical emergency, Seva Mandir team continues to work and support communities. We are working closely with health experts and organisations to understand needs and have taken up the response work ahead in the villages where Covid cases are surging at an unstoppable pace. Multitude of problems are witnessed causing spread of the virus such as rural patients struggling with home isolation, finding treatment close to home, arranging for food and basic amenities, misinformation and so on. An immediate and pressing need is to provide access to reliable information, counter dangerous myths regarding the disease, vaccination and treatment, and provide survival support to the vulnerable families in the rural and tribal parts of Udaipur and Rajsamand.

Seva Mandir is well placed to deliver this through its wide network of volunteers and community institutions. It is responding to this situation by undertaking the Covid Relief Work. The assessment of needs in areas of food, safety equipment, care, counselling, awareness and referral is being carried out continuously in consultation with communities and local institutions to help community withstand the adversity.

Also, Seva Mandir is implementing robust measures to protect its staff and the team of front liners who are undertaking the implementation of the relief work.

We, hence, seek your continuous support to help the rural communities withstand the impacts of the pandemic. We are aiming to provide families in rural, tribal and urban slum communities with vital relief packs to ensure they can survive this crisis. We trust that you will continuously support us. We also believe that the world will soon come out with this situation.

Thank you so much.


Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team 


Apr 2, 2021

Helping Children Overcome Malnutrition

Malnutrition is a significant issue effecting children throughout Rajasthan. Government data shows only 3.4% of children aged between 6 - 23 months receive an adequate diet & 61% of children are underweight. People tend not to see malnourishment as a medical problem so do not seek treatment. When they do, hospitals are located far away, and parents lose vital income when they take children for treatment.

Seva Mandir’s intervention reaches children aged from 7 months to 5 years old from poor rural and tribal families. Our doctors & nurses provide treatment for SAM (Severe Acute Malnourished) children with Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Foods & routine medical care. SAM children who have larger medical complications are referred to hospitals for more intensive treatment.

But, the current pandemic scenario worsened the situation. During lock down- regular home visits, monitoring of children, nutritional assessment of children was discontinued, however, Balsakhis (children’s caretaker trained by Seva Mandir) continued counselling of mothers through phone calls and informal interactions. Earlier last year, 18% of children were underweight, which during the lockdown rose to 42%. However, after resuming of work, prevalence of underweight has decreased by 10% (42% to 32%). Despite of the current challenges, Seva Mandir is continuously working hard to improve the status.

Neha (name changed), a young and cheerful 4-year-old girl, has experience of medical care administered through Seva Mandir camps. Her father, who is an agricultural labourer takes care, alongside his wife, of Neha and her younger sister. Despite their efforts, both daughters suffer from malnutrition from combined causes of infrastructure absence and rural poverty. Neha and her sister accompany each other to Seva Mandir’s camps, where vital care is given from nurses and a Balsakhi.

Like many other infants in her village, Neha was a patient of diarrhoea caused by malnutrition through decreased nutrient absorption. She receives two daily meals from the Seva Mandir caretaker ensuring her dietary requirements are met by providing her with carbohydrates, protein, iron and other vital minerals. Now, Neha weighs 12 kgs, showing she is well nourished and with continuous striving from family and nurses she will soon live a healthy and prosperous life.

Had your support not been there, we would have not been able to help Neha and many more children like her. We hope that you continue to support our project in future and help eradicate the malnutrition. $10 from you can support the treatment for 1 malnourished child.

Best wishes and take care,

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir team

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Apr 2, 2021

Helping Communities Achieve Food Security

Sundari, a 40-year old, from Paba village of Udaipur district, happily tells, “I have grown and sold vegetables in my village in the times people were most afraid. Many of them even came straight to my field for purchase.”

Covid-19 situation brought uncertainty for many rural households around their health, livelihood and future. Like Sundari, many people already in villages struggled to remain safe from infection, access food and search for income.

Sundari harvested her vegetable farming yield during lockdown and this was a blessing in disguise. Sundari earned Rs. 25,000 ($341) from the sales which not only helped her family but also allowed for savings. 

With the support from Seva Mandir through its livelihood programmes, many women like Sundari who not only survived well during this difficult time of Covid-19 but also managed to thrive strongly.

Seva Mandir continues to introduce best practices in agriculture, involving the farming community in a participatory way. These positive initiatives have a great impact on distressed rural communities during these uncertain times.

Had your support not been there, we would have not been able to help Sundari and many more women like her. Thank you so much. We hope that you continue to support our project in future. $10 from you will help set up vegetable garden for 1 farmer family.

Best wishes and take care,

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir team

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