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5 Initiatives You Can Support To Help Rural India Fight The COVID-19 Crisis

To help people in remote areas, several Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) have launched initiatives to provide medical assistance, food and essentials to COVID patients and their families.

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During the second wave of the pandemic in India, we had reached a stage where most or all of us received messages requesting help for sourcing oxygen cylinders, medicines or hospital beds. Social media platforms were filled with gut-wrenching stories of grueling recoveries or grief. While most of these stories and issues are raised from urban areas, the ones in rural areas go unheard of.

The situation in the remotest areas of the country is more grim owing to lack of healthcare infrastructure, awareness and skilled medical professionals. To help people in remote areas, several Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) have launched initiatives to provide medical assistance, food and essentials to the vulnerable, while some are even raising awareness among people as well as healthcare professionals.

While we may not be able to help them directly, we can provide monetary support to NGOs who can continue doing their work.

Here are five NGOs that you can make donations to:

Rural Response Tracker

Agami is a Bengaluru-based NGO launched by a group of lawyers to ensure justice is accessible to all citizens. Owing to the pandemic, the team has launched a Rural Response Tracker, which provides information about various initiatives to help rural communities in India.

Launched a month-and-a-half ago, from a list of four or five initiatives, the team has now collated 850 initiatives that are providing relief in rural areas.

On their website, users can search for initiatives state or city-wise, read about them and directly make donations on the provided details. If someone requires more information before making a decision, contact details to the respective NGOs are provided as well.

This volunteer-led effort collates existing information from public resources, cross-checks them, and regularly updates their website.

Here’s a link to choose an NGO of your choice to help.

Adivasi Lives Matter

Started in 2016, Adivasi Lives Matter is a platform for individuals and youngsters from various communities to share their stories. To do so, the platform provides training on how to become content creators, make videos using their mobile phones, and more.

While the pandemic has caused starvation and unemployment in these remote communities, there is also widespread fake information spreading on social media and via word-of-mouth. This has caused many COVID patients to avoid seeking medical help or even avoid taking the vaccines, in some cases.

Now, the team is on a mission to help the adivasis by providing necessary medical assistance, vaccinations, and ration kits to over 6,000 families regularly.

You can support their work by donating here.

Apne Aap India

Founded in 2002, this NGO works to empower women to resist and end sex trafficking. Most of the vulnerable women and children living in red light areas, slums and refugee camps are facing unique challenges. Since most of them have no official documents, they are not eligible for government aid like rations or transit housing.

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They also have no official employer who will provide for their expenses, if they fall sick.

In these dire times, Apne Aap is working towards providing them with medicines, oxygen supply, vaccinations, food, sanitary pads, safe housing and even WiFi to pursue education.

You can donate and help them out here.

Madad Project

A group of 16 volunteers, including doctors and professionals from the United States of America, have developed a first-of-its-kind online map to help critical and anxious COVID-19 patients looking for bed availability. With an interface like Google Maps, Madad maps is a country-wide map that shows available hospital beds.

A user can access real-time information around their locality and connect with hospitals closest to their location. On selecting a particular hospital, the user is provided with the availability of oxygen, ICU and ventilator beds. Apart from that, a phone number is also displayed to contact the hospital.

The team also conducts weekly interactions in vernacular languages with healthcare professionals in rural areas to dispel panic surrounding the disease and create awareness.

You can help them by spreading the word about their initiative to those who might benefit from it.

Adhyayan Foundation

In India, 113 million children are enrolled in government schools. They come from vulnerable communities and their parents work as migrant workers, farmers or daily wage earners. However, since the onset of the pandemic, while urban India has managed to transition to online learning, these children have compromised on their education.

Adhyayan Foundation is working with schools and students and devising strategies so that students can continue learning without disruption. They also hope to empower these students to become leaders and safety champions who spread awareness about COVID-19 protocols.

In the last two years, the organisation has worked with over 800 schools in Goa, even before the pandemic and has improved their standards by 70%. Now, they hope to do the same so that schools in rural areas can either reopen safely or provide remote education for their students.

Your donations will give them the support to continue working with these students and government bodies to implement impactful changes.

Edited by Yoshita Rao

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