INTERVENTION ON COVID-19 IN HOWRAH AND PURBA MEDINIPUR
In the context of COVID-19 pandemic and in response to its related socio-economic crisis, Nari O Sishu Kalyan Kendra (NOSKK) with its limited resources initiated response from the very beginning of the crisis and continued in two districts of West Bengal namely Howrah and Purba Medinipur.
57 team members of Nari O Sishu Kalyan Kendra have succeeded in providing support to the most vulnerable social groups particularly daily wage labourers and migrant labourers. Additionally, we have successfully implemented various interventions.
Awareness through miking: NOSKK took initiative to build awareness in the community about the health precautions and safety measures about COVID-19. The organization did miking in different areas of Uluberia municipality under Howrah District.
The awareness message contained the following points:
- Wash hands regularly and frequently with soap
- Avoid spitting, especially in public places
- Avoid touching your face, especially eyes nose and mouth
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3feet) distance between yourself and other people Download the ‘Arogya Setu’ app
- Please keep the children safe at home and do not trust people who would like to take away your child
- Keep the children protected from Child Abuse – child abuse is a punishable offense under POCSO Act, 2012
- Keep the family and the village safe from traffickers
- Dry Ration Distribution: Nari O Sishu Kalyan Kendra distributed dry rations including rice, pulse, vegetable oil, soya nuggets etc to more than 1071 families. We are very thankful to all our supporters, funders and also our individual supporters for sponsoring this initiative. We put extra efforts to identify the most vulnerable families in the locality. Relief of dry ration were distributed to the social groups like daily wage labourers, women headed households, families of malnourished children, migrant labourers, domestic worker and also specially abled children, trainee of non-traditional livelihood (mobile repairing, cab driving, toto driving under Utkarsha Bangla Training center).
- Safety Kit distribution: Noskk provided Safety kits (masks, sanitary napkin, soap, detergent etc.) to the communities. In the community, we keep a strict vigil to ensure that all the appropriate government guidelines are followed, personal safety measures are taken and physical distancing norms are adhered to.
- Rapid Assessment on situation of slum dwellers: Nari O Sishu Kalyan Kendra with the support of Save the Children conducted a rapid assessment of slum dwellers on the impact of COVID-19 outbreak and the following lockdown through telephonic interviews. The interviews were conducted with 102 slum dwellers migrant families from Howrah municipality from 9th to 15th April, 2020.
- Tele network: With the support of Save the Children, the Noskk created a bridge via tele network with community and service provider. To create awareness about the health, hygiene, social distancing and precautions during the period of lockdown
- Initiative for social security and entitlements: Government of India announced a relief package of one-time Rs. 1000/- for the daily wage labourers to help the poor tackle the financial difficulties arising from the Covid-19 outbreak and the lockdown. Noskk supported in documentation to daily wage workers to fill up “Protesta Scheme” (Govt. of West Bengal initiative to benefit all of the residents of Bengal especially daily wage workers who are not able to earn their livelihood due to lockdown) forms to for 2136 workers. We also made people aware about “Sneher Paras” scheme for the benefit of transient labourers.Initiative for migrant labourers: We are working with migrant labor about their situation and tracking them by telephone and collaborating with local governments or NGOs for their food and also assisting them in registering their attendance and entry passes.Collaboration with University: NOSKK collaborated with the Azim Premji University in order to contribute to develop a public dashboard with information on the situations in different blocks of Howrah district during COVID 19 outbreak and lockdown.Mental Health support: Noskk put much emphasis on mental health issues during lockdown. Through prolonged conversation and follow-up, we identified cases of mental health issues and made adequate arrangements to provide telephonic psycho-social support in collaboration with Kolkata Sanved to the survivors in distress.
Support to women and adolescent girls against domestic violence: Nari O Sishu Kalyan Kendra, being a catalyst of change, provided tele-counselling support to the women and adolescent girls who became the victim of domestic violence in our project area and beyond.
Immediate support to more 1000 families: In the ‘Unlock’ phase, we will continue our efforts for immediate support through supply of dry ration and safety kits to 1000 families.
Building Network: We are also trying to develop a network of NGOs for ensuring collective efforts and planning to develop a fund base to respond and support to the needs of the vulnerable and the most excluded families of the community.
Initiative for social security and entitlements: Ensuring entitlements is one of the focus areas of NoSKK’s work. We are in coordination with the food department of Uluberia Municipality in order to ensure ration card for those who do not have the card.
Livelihood opportunity to vulnerable families: We are planning to train 100 more women in non-traditional livelihood i.e., cab driving, security guard, toto driving etc. and also increase production of sanitary napkin unit of NoSKK.