One of the best preventative measures against the disease has been physical distancing and avoiding relatively crowded places such as markets and even our workplaces. While many of us are privileged enough to have jobs that allow us to work remotely, some of our colleagues at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) – a premier organisation engaged in biodiversity-related research (https://wii.gov.in/) – continue to perform their duties as before. These are essential services such as cleaning, cooking, maintaining sanitation, and others that have kept the Institute functioning. Moreover, staying off work for many of them is not a practical option as that could even mean having no food on the table for several days.
These undervalued heroes of the present crisis need both our thanks and support. Hence, the present initiative – “Prayas Collective” – aims to provide such a supportive shield for these frontline colleagues through the course of this pandemic. A few senior researchers of WII have voluntarily formed the Prayas group and, through your generous contributions and support, will run the collective.
We have identified, contacted and consulted about 100 of such staff employed either on daily wages or on fixed emoluments (up to INR 15,000/month) or those laid off during the pandemic – who form the Institute’s backbone and keep the wheels turning during this outbreak at a far greater risk to themselves than most others. We wish to provide and/or facilitate each of our frontline colleague with:
- A basic covid-19 prevention kit (a few high-quality N95 masks for family members, face shields, hand-sanitisers, gloves, digital thermometer etc).
- An annual covid-19 specific/general health insurance/mediclaim package (individual/family, as need be).
- In case of unforeseen covid-related complications, the Prayas support group will also try to arrange for required medicines and other possible need-based assistance (oxygen, ambulances etc).
- Apart from these interventions for the target group, an emergency corpus will be set aside to be of assistance to ANY researcher member of the community in any manner as a returnable endowment.