01
May

Covid-19 updates from Rachana Society in Pune

 

Taking the vow to do everything possible

Rachana Society for Rural Reconstruction is a community project based in Pune district, Maharashtra. Formed in 1989, Rachana has been working in the field of health and primary education in many rural communities and tribal areas of Pune district. 

This region has been hit hard, like other rural and neglected communities in India. 10 COVID19 positive cases and 2 deaths have been reported. Rural health infrastructure is not equipped to handle diagnosis and treatment. In the community, there is a lot of stress about the uncertain future. Farmers are unable to take produce to the market and migrant laborers, most of who do not have ration cards are unable to get supplies from government PD stores. Meagre savings are getting depleted.

Essential supplies to hard-hit families:
Rachana has been on the ground in 3 talukas. Before the lockdown began, they had been assisting 35 families with regular household needs but with the help of AID funding, this was expanded to cover 135 families. These families are being supplied with basic provisions like rice, lentils, oil, salt, sugar and spices for the last several weeks. Rachana has identified 400 families that are in a dire situation but they are unable to reach them because of limited funds.

Education and awareness:
ASHA and Anganwadi workers through the local government health program have been helping spread awareness about Coronavirus. Rachana volunteers have been spreading awareness about hand washing techniques, social distancing and other best practices. Dry cough and related symptoms are immediately being reported to the local PHC. 

Situation in the children’s hostel:
One of Rachana’s projects is a residential hostel that helps provide stability and reduce school dropout rate. Since 2012, AID Boise has supported this facility for 85 children as a sustained effort to make a difference in the lives of these children. When the lockdown was announced, arrangements were made to safely transport these children to their families. The caretakers are helping relief efforts by sewing masks. Rachana has been trying to keep in touch with families and 15-20 of them have received food kits. The situation is expected to worsen with the approaching summer. 

The future:
The region is expected to see a lot of water shortage, starvation and desperation as we head into the dry season. Most farmers have small land holdings and they will be left with no savings. Mental health is expected to be drastically affected. The government has started issuing temporary ration cards and Rachana is trying to get eligible people to sign up. 

When the lockdown was announced the Rachana team initially felt helpless by the enormity of the situation but they quickly started planning to come up with innovative modes of communication. They started reaching out through whatsapp groups and focused on getting through, one day at a time. They took a vow, to continue helping everyone and to inspire and motivate each other. 

Rachana is in urgent need of funds to continue helping families.

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