COVID-19  India Project #45154

Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India

by Seva Mandir
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India
Covid-19: Relief to Rural Communities in India

Dear Friend,

Recently, Seva Mandir was elated to welcome 2019 Nobel Laureate Prof. Abhijeet Banerjee, Economist, Director J-Pal (The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab) and Mohammad Abdul Latif Jameel, Chairman and CEO, Abdul Latif Jameel Group and J-Pal team. This visit was a special visit for both parties due to the exciting exchange of thoughts and ideas shared on the mutual interest in the development of rural communities in Rajasthan.

Prof. Banerjee and Seva Mandir have had a longstanding and strong relationship since 1996. The Nobel laureate has worked extensively on studying various development problems and has helped in contributing to their solutions.

The few days of their Udaipur visit were jam-packed with visits and productive discussions. The J-PAL team, along with Seva Mandir’s team, traveled to remote villages Jalpaka and Jhabla; where they were formally introduced to Seva Mandir’s initiatives including natural resources, early childcare and nutrition, women empowerment and education.

A notable highlight of the visit was Prof. Banerjee’s enthusiastic discussion at a women’s Self Help Group (SHG) regarding the growing challenges of poverty and need for climate action in vulnerable regions and communities such as theirs.

During the community discussion, Prof. Banerjee vocalized, “Climate change and water scarcity are global challenges,and it will worsen in future. In India, the rural community has vast knowledge of water related challenges and its solutions. I look forward to understanding community perspectives and suggestions on tackling the future challenges and its solutions. This democratic approach will enable us to find collaborative solutions to the future challenges.”

Thank you so much for all your faith and continuous support to our programme.

Best Wishes,

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir team

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Dear Friend,

India is recovering from the devastating effects of Covid-19, but new cases are on the rise again. The pandemic has ravaged the lives of people in southern Rajasthan, whose average daily income is less than $0.70 (Rs. 52). During Covid-19 relief, Seva Mandir distributed food and safety kits to 50,000+ families, supported with medical care, and created awareness on prevention and vaccination. Covid Management Communities (CMC) have been formed in 1,500+ villages, together with capacity building of 6,000+ frontline workers & volunteers.

Today, Seva Mandir continues to link people with livelihood opportunities, education and nutrition activities for long term rehabilitation and resilience. Regular dialogues with village communities help to identify needs and look for solutions. 

We are also keeping an eye on the rapid spread of Lumpy disease among cows/buffaloes in our communities, and have decided to take up LUMPY SKIN DISEASE RELIEF WORK now. Internal teams and committees are formed and discussion with Government department has also been initiated.

Cattles are an important part of people’s livelihood in our working area and saving them is important as it directly affects their income and family needs, at the same time saving animals from this painful and deadly disease is also important.

Over 7,500 cattle have died so far due to 'lumpy skin disease' in ten states of India till now, including Rajasthan and the number of cattle affected by this disease is much more. Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a contagious viral disease that affects cattle. It is transmitted by blood-feeding insects, such as certain species of flies and mosquitoes, or ticks. It causes fever, nodules on the skin and can also lead to death. LSD has recently spread in Asia following outbreaks in the Middle East and Europe.

We greatly appreciate your trust in Seva Mandir and for supporting our project. Your support is helping us in making changes in the lives of communities in need. We hope that you will continue your precious support to our project.

Thank you and take care.

Best Wishes,

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.sevamandir.org/sevamandir 

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Faced with lower-than-average vaccination rates in Udaipur district (63.9% compared with 78.3% across Rajasthan as a whole for those aged 45+) and desperately low rates in the poorest tribal areas (as low as 6% in the poorest, most remote area in which our NGO works), Seva Mandir launched its Hum Sajag campaign. The name means ‘we are alert, prepared and ready’, and the campaign was a multi-pronged communication strategy focusing on three key aspects: building watch committees, training frontline staff in the use of technical tools and utilising local folk media, including ritualistic dance and street theatre, to combat vaccine hesitancy. The watch committees, consisting of village community members, Seva Mandir staff and other frontline workers, act as eyes and ears in the villages, working to understand the myths surrounding the virus and combat challenges presented by the lack of reliable information.

Designed using songs, dance and drama performed in the local languages, the theatre production was a creative solution devised by Seva Mandir to increase awareness and reduce vaccine scepticism. The narrative of the play was designed to be engaging and relatable to its audience, drawing on the existing caste and gender hierarchies in the villages and encouraging the audience to ask questions in the middle of the act. After the show, the local leaders and frontline workers told the audience where to find the nearest vaccination camps and answered questions.

In the last few months, Seva Mandir has helped set up 1,555 Covid-19 management bodies in the communities, and more than 14,000 people have been persuaded by institution leaders to get vaccinated. In this way, Seva Mandir has been able to support the government in boosting vaccination in the most remote villages of southern Rajasthan. More than 5,500 frontline workers are now equipped with safety and diagnostic kits, which include masks, sanitisers, oximeters and thermometers. Five community and primary health centres now have a diesel generator, which will help provide a steady electricity supply.

Seva Mandir’s Covid-19 campaign has helped strengthen partnerships within the rural health ecosystem, especially with frontline health workers and across all areas of administration. Through integrating awareness and relief efforts with intensive vaccination drives, Seva Mandir has been able to build community preparedness and mobilise people for vaccination.

All thanks goes to you and to all our supporters without whom this success would not have been possible. We hope that you will continue your precious support to our project.

Thank you again for your generous support. 

Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

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Dear Friend,

From all of us here in Seva Mandir we wish you and your family Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May the new year brings to you lots of love, laughter, and joy.

Using a combination of different traditional theatre forms and music Seva Mandir teams are reaching out in areas with the most vaccination hesitation in southern Rajasthan. Actors use popular folk songs to talk about many myths and fears of vaccination.

The story of the play revolves around a young man returning from his place of work with visible symptoms of Covid and refusing to either isolate or go for testing. Through regular communication and doubt clearing sessions, he is convinced that he must isolate, take proper treatment and then post-recovery get vaccinated. 

Through theatre and discussions, we are trying to clarify myths and many concerns.

In one of the shows in the Sarada area, we reached a village where vaccination hesitation was very high. Although there was a vaccination camp going on nearby, people were not motivated enough. After watching the play, many of the audience members understood the importance of getting vaccinated and got vaccinated.

Banshi, School Principal shares "When vaccination started in our area, I used to sit in camps for three days straight and not a single person came. I tried speaking with families to understand the reasons but instead, they questioned my intentions. It felt like the community felt we are here for some personal benefits through vaccination. Now, the fear is easing a bit and people are getting themselves vaccinated."

We would like to thank you and all our well-wishers for supporting our project because of which we are helping many people in need. We hope that you will continue your support to our programme.                

Thank you and Take care.

Best Wishes,

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

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Dear Friend,

Delwada is a peri-urban region situated about 25 kms away from Udaipur. There are almost 18 colonies here. During the second wave of Covid- 19, around 60 people were found positive out of which 8 people lost their lives. The vaccination rate was low here and the whole community was not vaccinated.  Despite several attempts by frontline health workers about the importance of vaccines, people weren't ready for vaccination. 

Seva Mandir started a campaign called Hum Sajag (We are Aware) for reaching out in areas with the most vaccination hesitation in southern Rajasthan, using a combination of different traditional theatre forms and music. The campaign extensively focused on spreading awareness about the virus and its spread. Through repeated meetings and persuasion, teams focussed on reducing fear and stigma around vaccination. In the beginning, only a few people joined but eventually, the number increased. Similarly, when the topic of vaccination was introduced in the community, the women of the community refused to take the vaccine because they had already lost their vaccinated family members. Some women shared their concerns about chronic diseases like thyroid, diabetes, heart problems and how they fear vaccines might have side effects for them. Even one of the woman said, "If I feed my child after getting vaccinated, the virus will come through milk in the child". After repeated meetings and individual follow-ups, the trust started building in. Now, more than 80% of the families have been vaccinated, and thank Seva Mandir for the efforts made.

This year the people of Delwara and other villages where Seva Mandir work celebrated the Festival of Lights- Diwali with confidence and without any fear, as most of the people are now vaccinated. After a long time once again life seems to be again coming back to normal.

All thanks goes to You and to all our supporters without whom this success would not have been possible. Manyyyyy... thanks to you. We hope that you will continue your precious support to our project.

Take care.

Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

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Organization Information

Seva Mandir

Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @sevamandir
Project Leader:
Ronak Shah
Udaipur, Rajasthan India
$92,895 raised of $140,000 goal
 
451 donations
$47,105 to go
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