Holistic response to COVID-19: Update from SOCHARA

Here is an update on the work of SOCHARA, our grassroots partner in Karnataka.

Initial response:

As part of its primary response, SOCHARA developed a science bulletin to give a better understanding on COVID-19 along with a number of handouts and IEC materials in 8 different languages (see https://www.yumetta.org/covid-19/ ). SOCHARA field teams and associates worked on various interventions in the community, such as food supply and awareness creation. Along with AID Bangalore and Maara (a media and arts collective) they were involved in a survey documenting migrant workers affected by the lockdown. At present they are working closely with AID to help migrant workers travel back to their home states through Chhattisgarh state.

Mental Health intervention – SAHAY

SOCHARA identified a need in mental health interventions and started an initiative named SAHAY. This involves a core resource group of trained counsellors and psychologists, and is a pan-India service. Now they are working with Government departments to make it available to COVID-19 patients. SAHAY provides tele counseling support as well as organizing webinars to common people to overcome fear and anxiety. It also offers self-care support services to field workers, public servants and volunteers working in COVID-19 relief.

Dry Ration Distribution

SOCHARA along with AID Bangalore and other local partners have been surveying various slum areas in Bangalore and distributing ration kits to these communities. Many people who live here do not have ration cards as they have no title documents. Many are daily wage workers from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and different parts of North India, in addition to Tamil and Kannada speaking people. Over the last month, SOCHARA has distributed dry ration kits to over 3000 families living in slums all over Bangalore, and more than 600 families in slum areas of Bhopal.

PPE kits and Masks support

SOCHARA has worked closely with community health hospitals and provided 15000 emergency 3ply masks to public health centres in Bangalore and the rest of Karnataka. They are also collaborating with a company to provide 3600 PPE kits to 6 COVID-19 hospitals in Bangalore, Chennai and Pune. They have also distributed non-contact thermometers, gloves, reusable face shields and masks to Bijapur district in Karnataka to be used in check posts and COVID-19 fever clinics.

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