The current pandemic and the emerging health and economic crisis is only driving communities up the wall. As if the last wave of Covid-19 in 2020 was not enough, the current crisis has shook the ground from beneath communities. Most families who live in these slums are into lowly professions such as being push-carts vendors, hawkers, daily wage earners, auto drivers, etc., have lost jobs and incomes, thereby losing their ability to feed their families due to the consecutive lockdowns.
Healthy citizens are a prerequisite to a healthy society and robust economy. Ill-health of its community members affects the community in more ways than one. Several studies, time and again have proven that poor households often end up spending a large chunk of their savings and income towards medical expenses. Wide-spread economic deprivation has affected nutrition and health of the communities. Today, in the midst of the second wave of Covid-19, there are many people in the community who have caught the bug. The lack of space within the households means social distancing is physically and economically impossible. As medical oxygen and medicines are in short supply, healthcare being inaccessible in hospitals, the plight of the community is best not described.
Swabhimaan’s priorities have somewhat changed at this point of the pandemic. Since most people cannot afford private healthcare and the government health infrastructure is negligible, the Trust plans to have a reserve of medicines, Oxygen Concentrators and oxygen supply-related equipment at the Trust to cater to the health needs 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. The concentrators will work on a library model where people can borrow the equipment, for a couple of days until the patient is in a better position to recuperate, and return it to the Trust. For this purpose, we plan to procure at least 15-20 Concentrators or more, along with all the necessary equipment and fittings. We also plan to procure around 50 Oximeters for patients to regularly monitor oxygen saturation levels in the comfort of their homes.
The main objective of this initiative will be to lend the Oxygen Concentrators directly to needy patients so as to manage healthcare and isolation at home (in cases where the patient can be managed at home), without hospitalization. We will be tracking and ensuring the concentrators reach the patient directly. We will be taking care of any servicing issues that will arise during the period of usage and a team will be available 24x7.
Due to the imposition of lockdown, it's likely extension, and the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the lives of thousands of families in the slums are thrown out of gear. There is a need to provide sanitizers, masks, gloves and disinfectants, and also undertake fogging and sanitization in the locality. The Trust will continue its cooked-meal distribution and grocery-kit supply to the most deserving families. We will also continue to undertake public sanitization and fogging regularly to ensure public better health.
It is time to save our slums from Covid-19 and its wrath. We will continue to partner and network with organisations that have proven engagement with the community and helped in distribution of Covid-19 relief materials in these tough times.
We have been working tirelessly to support families in the slums. We appeal to you to donate to us. Your donations will allow us to help these communities, tide through this crisis. All donations are exempt under 80G of the Income Tax Act. With your generous support, we aim to raise enough funds to ensure everyone has enough to survive.