– Narrated by Prafulla Arun Tembhe, Helping Hands Charitable Trust, Thane

Nimbavali Gram panchayat, one of the blocks situated in Titwala at Thane district in Maharashtra is located about 35 km from the district headquarters. The village is equally represented by all communities. The first time when we went to the village for the baseline survey to identify the BPL & APL families and to verify their health & hygiene conditions, we were questioned by the Sarpanch about the objective behind the survey. The Sarpanch and the villagers started probing us for a permission letter and our identity cards to conduct the survey. We approached the women’s self-help group and explained to them about our survey and told them that their participation is needed for a smoother process. On our next visit, these women SHGs helped us reach out to the villagers and we met again with the Gram Panchayat’s representative to provide information about the Covid-19 situation and also emphasized the importance of taking care of their health. The women as well as the villagers were very optimistic this time to witness our work. We also guided them on various government schemes and ration-related provisions and challenges.