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A unique initiative to help the distressed migrants

Way Forward – Beyond Covid

COVID-19 has exposed several fault lines and has also taught us many lessons considering multiple hazard and vulnerability profiles. Moving forward, here are some takeaways that should inform our participation as stakeholders towards a strengthened community and eventually, a resilient nation:

Although WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) has for long been a focus for the development sector, it had not gained much traction amongst poorer communities. The pandemic has catapulted this domain to such importance that it is likely to see an increased acceptance of WASH-related behaviour. Capitalizing on this is necessary through robust and sustained IEC (Information, Education and Communication), and behavioural change communications can lead to better uptake of sanitation initiatives, such as micro-loans for water purifiers, toilet usage, demand for potable water etc. in the long run.

The Maha PECONet collaboration facilitated greater symbiosis between organizations that have a stronger fund base and organizations with an intensive volunteer network. Replication and scaling up of initiatives, not just during disasters or emergencies, but in more ‘normal’ times would help increase the impact of various innovations. Long-term rehabilitation essential for vulnerable communities after any emergency is impossible without sustained cooperation and collaboration.

The success of online trainings and social mobilization during the Covid-19 pandemic must be built upon to enable frontline workers to adopt the latest digital technology. The degree and urgency with which frontline workers have been exposed to digital medium of communication will transform the landscape of communication at the grassroots level without compromising the digital divide. Capacity building processes may increasingly be designed to suit digital outreach. Despite limitations like network, electricity and equipment issues, pros of digital interactions, such as reduction in travel time and logistical costs, improved accountability, etc., will be instrumental in a faster switch to the digital mode.

Tried and tested tools like RapidPro must be scaled up. Such technology reduces monotonous work like data collection and frees resources for other impactful work and helps to reduce digital divide because of its IVR-based platform.

As seen in the recent crisis, women have an intimate understanding of the dynamics of their communities. They can rise up to challenges and work out innovations in places that are often overlooked and facilitate the community resilience. The success of Sakhi Task Forces has confirmed that continuous and progressive investment in creating women leaders in villages reaps dividends over time. The identification and capacity building of women leaders must be scaled up across the country.

As the lockdown eases and life settles into a post-pandemic phase, these learnings must fold into a regular practice and continue to enrich our work for long after we have collectively defeated the ungodly virus.

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We need to join forces to grant dignity and access to rights and resources for all marginalised and vulnerable groups.We have delivered support to over 1 Million people since 2020 under various programs. But, Today We Need YOUR Support to do more. Get in touch with us to start making a difference..

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