Covid Response

Collaborative Initiatives to Combat the Second Wave of COVID 19

Since April, India has been witnessing a surge in Covid-19 infections with the country seeing over 3,50,000 fresh cases of Covid-19 daily which is the highest one-day tally anywhere in the world. The number of deaths is increasing every day and Tamil Nadu continues to be one of the top five most affected states of India.

This massive surge has caused a visible strain on the healthcare system, the livelihood of the people and increased deeply the gap between the rich and the poor. If steps are not taken to control the damages in the areas of health, socio-economic conditions, the pandemic will leave a long-standing effect on the lives of the most vulnerable people.

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covidresponse

Pandemic Response

Auroville Village Action Group (AVAG) has just launching a pandemic response and prevention initiative for assisting 20,000 families in 75 communities in the bio-region of Auroville to reduce the spread and the impacts of the pandemic. The first round of Arcenicum Album homeopathic remedy has been given to 20,000 families and it will be followed by a second dose and immunity boosting Siddha medicine, mask distribution, education on prevention, food distribution for Covid positive families plus the most vulnerable.

This operation is being carried out with the support of different units and schools in Auroville, community-based organizations in the villages and the government departments. Initiatives include Immunity boosting natural medicines and education on prevention, food distribution for Covid positive families and the most vulnerable and mask distribution. This operation is being carried out with the support of different units and schools in Auroville, community-based organizations in the villages and the government departments.

Village representatives

This participatory and need-based project was developed at the meeting with the village representatives who are a part of the support team that works closely with AVAG since the beginning of the pandemic. The village and street level task forces consisting of village leaders, women’s federation, youths and the members of sports associations, members of Auroville units and schools are the pillars in helping AVAG in executing the project. This project is fostering unity and harmony within the communities, by bringing together different caste groups for the village meetings, as in almost all settlements, men, women, youth leaders, and government representative’s work together to control the pandemic.

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Immunity boosting natural medicines and education on prevention

The pandemic is burdening the health facilities badly and the further spread of the disease will become an impossible one to manage for medical professionals. Though the vaccines are available, people are either skeptical or do not have enough information about it. On the other hand there is an acute shortage of vaccines in Tamil Nadu to cover the population. To support the communities to control the spread of the disease, AVAG is starting an education and prevention initiative that aims to educate people to follow the preventive measures, raise awareness on the vaccines, and stay informed of the updates from the government and nurture continuous linkages.

We are distributing homeopathic immune boosters, recommended by the AYUSH Ministry, and educational flyers, putting up banners, using auto-rickshaw canvassing and social media messages to create a better understanding of the second wave without creating panic. In a gap of another two weeks, we plan to distribute a Siddha medicine, Kabasura Kudineer ,which is also recommended by the AYUSH Ministry of Government of India. This immune booster will be given for three continuous days to the communities around Auroville.

Amount needed - INR 9,20,0000 (Euro 10367.37/US $ 12454.31)

Support to the most vulnerable people

Due to the pandemic many have lost their jobs partly or fully. In India there is a minimum job assurance scheme called MNREGS to help the most vulnerable families to earn a minimum amount by doing the jobs provided under that scheme. But due to some unknown reasons, in our area in Tamil Nadu, the scheme is not in operation for the past few months and the latest government order has banned people above 55 years and the ones with co-morbidity from doing work under the above scheme.

In our area people who lost their jobs during the first wave got themselves enrolled under this scheme to earn at least something to run their families. Many single women, widows and the aged depended on this income in a big way. We plan to distribute Rs.500 worth hygiene and food materials like masks, dhal, oil, garlic, turmeric to 3000 most vulnerable families recommended by the communities around Auroville.

Amount needed - INR 15,30,000.00 (Euro 17241.38/US$ 20712.06)

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covidresponse

Support to the families affected by the COVID 19

Apart from one or more members of the families affected by the disease, these families will be impacted economically very bad, as they will not be able to go for jobs for a certain period. We plan to help these families in a small way by distributing hygiene and food essentials like masks, soaps, dhal, oil, turmeric and garlic.

Amount needed - INR 3,15,000 (Euro 3549.70/US $ 4264.25)

Distribution of Masks

This activity was added as per the request of more communities around Auroville and the Women’s groups. Single layered knit fabric masks are commonly available in the market and they smell bad after being used for a few hours. Reusable two or three- layered cloth masks are not sold normally in the market, and are also quite expensive. The repeated request of the communities to AVAG was to supply reusable two or three– layered cloth masks, which is a requirement at this time of the pandemic to control the spread.

Amount needed - INR 10,50,000 (Euro 11832.32/US $ 14214.16)

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Institutional Overheads – Travel, Communication, Reporting and Documentation

Amount needed - INR 3,80,000 (Euro 4282.17/US $ 5144.17)

Grand Total for this campaign = INR 41,95,000.00 (Euro 47,272.93/US $ 56,788.95)

We are very grateful and thankful for all the support we received for our previous campaigns, without which we would not have been able to help the rural communities to overcome the first wave.

To support the 20,000 families in the rural communities in the bio-region of Auroville during this critical time, we need INR 41,95,000.00 (Euro 47,272.93/US $ 56,788.95) Any support, donations in-kind or financial, is deeply appreciated.

Sincerely Yours, Alain, Abha, Bridget, Anbu, Moris, Nadja and Subbu

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