Specially created for Vikalp Sangam
as part of the Extraordinary Work of ‘Ordinary’ People series – EWOP Vol. 7
Read the full report here.
The second wave of the pandemic was more lethal, saw the health infrastructure in cities buckle under pressure. In a matter of a few weeks, the death toll piled and the contagion spread to rural areas.
During both the waves, there were numerous people, who tried to bring some balance to the chaos. Civil society organisations played a critical role in providing much needed humanitarian assistance to communities under distress. Non-profits had to operate under extremely difficult circumstances, exacerbated by a stringent regulatory environment. An
amendment to the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act (FCRA) made it more difficult for small grassroots organisations and intermediaries to operate.
Despite the challenges, funds were mobilized to help the urban poor. The migrant workers were provided with cooked food, dry ration, and essential goods. Frontline workers were provided with protective gear, communities were taught about basic hygiene and waste disposal. Distress helplines were set up to facilitate medical aid and support people with mental health issues and victims of domestic violence.
Now with new variants of the SARS-Co-V-2 emerging, things remain uncertain. After going through the worst phases of the pandemic, urban populations have proven to be resilient. Social distancing, contact tracing, and vaccinations have been able to contain the pandemic in densely populated urban areas. But COVID recovery is a long drawn process. The pandemic has had socio-economic impacts, which can only be addressed through long-term interventions that empower underserved communities.
This report highlights stories of some of many extraordinary initiatives, which not only provided humanitarian assistance, when it was needed but are also trying to build communities that are more resilient to future shocks.
Santhana Selvan, Relief Riders
Naveen Sadana, Waste Warriors
Dr Nayreen Daruwala, SNEHA
Mohit, TYCIA Foundation
Sameer Sisodia, SJR Redwoods
Aravind Unni, IGSSS
Ishteyaque Ahmed, Greenpeace India
Read the full series here: Beyond Pandemics and Lockdowns (multiple language and graphic novel versions)