Healthy people are a prerequisite to a healthy society and a robust economy. Ill-health of its people affects the community in more ways than one. It is not rare that poor households often end up spending a large portion of their savings and income towards medical expenses. India is facing its second wave of Covid-19 with an exponential rise in cases, by the day. The healthcare system has been inadequate and the past few weeks have been witness to shortage of medical oxygen, hospital beds, ventilators.
In the current pandemic and the emerging health and economic crisis, communities are finding themselves in dire straits. If the last wave of Covid-19 in 2020 was not enough, the current crisis has been world-shattering for poor slum communities. Ambedkar Nagar and Bapuji Slum, situated near the Banashankari Temple, are home to around 4,500 families with a high population density. Most breadwinners in these slums are into lowly professions such as being push-carts vendors, hawkers, daily wage earners, auto drivers and so on; having lost jobs and incomes, thereby losing their ability to feed their families due to the successive lockdowns.
Some areas in these slums have an open sewage system making it a haven for preventable mosquito-borne and water-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria and typhoid. The open drainage around the slum is home to unbearable stench and is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. There are also times where other uninvited guests such as pests and snakes make way into the households. The problem worsens during monsoons as the drainage freely flows into about 50 households causing damage to property and household-belongings.
Today, in the midst of the second wave of Covid-19, there have been many community members testing positive for Covid in rapid succession, as physical distancing is practically impossible in these areas. The health care system is under immense pressure and many people do not have access to medical oxygen, medicines and hospitalisation. People are unable to afford healthcare and the government health infrastructure is already overburdened, there is a need to have a reserve of oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders and other medical supplies for use, within the community.
Oxygen concentrator, which can be a life-saver for many, is unfortunately not affordable by everyone who is in need of it. For this purpose, we plan to procure 15-20 Concentrators or more, along with all the necessary equipment and fittings will be procured. We also plan to procure around 250 Oximeters for patients to regularly monitor oxygen saturation levels in the comfort of their homes.
Due to the imposition of a lockdown and the ongoing Covid crisis, the lives of thousands of families in these slums are thrown out of gear. Earning members of households are unable to step out and there are many families who are going hungry. Hence there is an immediate need to raise funds to provide these families with the means to survive. There is an immediate need to provide grocery kits and cooked meals; in addition to supplying toiletries, sanitizers, masks, gloves and disinfectants, and also undertake fogging and sanitization in the locality.
A group of 20 volunteers under the able leadership of Mr. Manjunath Banashankari have been working tirelessly on the ground. They have been distributing grocery kits, cooked-meals, sanitary and toiletry kits to the deserving and needy households. They have also undertaken sanitization and fogging, with hired equipment, in the locality.
It is time to save our slum communities from Covid-19. Partnering with organisations that have proven engagement with the community and helping in distribution of Covid relief materials has been a priority. We have linked-up with Swabhimaan Trust, a Bangalore-based organisation, working tirelessly to support families in the slums. Your donations will allow us to help these communities, to sail through this catastrophe. All donations are exempt under 80G. In such acutely grave times it is only resolute that we volunteer and donate our way out of a crisis of this magnitude.