Sunday 31 May 2020

Udayan Responds Quickly to COVID-19

  • COVID-19 Relief Work
Despite initial response by the Government with supply of rations to our Leprosy Colonies and some support by 'local groups' it soon became apparent that our children and their families would need more support to make it through the extended lockdown with adequate supplies to ensure proper nutrition.  Like so many in India, due to lock-down people in the colonies have not been in a position to go out from their home for begging, rag picking and petty labour work, as a result they are not being able to arrange their bare minimum food to survive. 

We approached Wipro Foundation on April 22nd 2020 for providing Humanitarian support to distressed 600 families (2400 people) of 10 leprosy colonies.  On 27th April 2020, Wipro foundation approved the proposal and transferred the INR 6,00,000 (Rupees six lakhs only) to Udayan account. Our staff members and community volunteers from the respective colonies quickly mobilised and coordinated with local grocery shops to finalise the rate of dry rations for relief work, with the support of our Director.   

Dry ration support was provided to 600 families in 10 colonies under the district Bardhaman Bankura & Purulia of West Bengal. Each family received Rice 20 kg, Soybean 1 kg, Potato 3kg, Masoor Dal (Red Lentil) 1kg, Mustard Oil 1liter, Sugar 1kg, Suji 1kg, Salt 1 kg, soap 1pcs. Distribution of dry rations started a week before and completed on 12th May 2020.

Additionally, with confirmed support from SBI Life Insurance for the year 2020/21, we approached them to divert funds allocated for food and nutrition of our children at Udayan, towards providing ration relief at this time.  An amount of 3lacs was harnessed to supply 1 month's ration to our 270 children from 197 families.

With our staff located in many of the colonies, we have been undertaking certain education and awareness activities to highlight the importance of 'social distancing', wearing of face masks and hand-washing.

  • Education of our Children
We are doing our best, under difficult circumstances, to keep the educational interests of our children at front of mind.  As such we are harnessing the little technology our families have access to, to communicate with them and try to continue imparting education during the lockdown period.

Children (From Classes KG to IV) of Udayan Vidyalaya attending on-line classes from their respective colonies, conducted by our primary teachers through whatsapp and phone calls. WhatsApp groups from classes KG to Class IV have been formed by our Udayan teachers and they are taking subject wise online classes from Monday to Friday (from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) they also share assignments through WhatsApp.  Children clear their doubts by raising questions in the group. Children who don’t have their smart phones are getting support from their neighbours to stay connected with teachers for their academic updates.

Children from Class V to XII who attend local Government Schools have completed their online sessions which starting from 13th April 2020. Now their summer vacation has been started from 15th May it will end on 10thJune 2020. Again, the online sessions will start from 11th of June 2020 while we await announcement of the Government for re-opening of schools in the state.  The State Government has also taken initiatives for subject wise classes (class V to XII) on television, and our children are following that also.
Our 7 children, pursuing Nursing courses in Chhattisgarh are also regularly attending online classes from 10am to 5pm conducted by Nursing colleges.

  • Scenario Planning Post Lockdown
The NGO sector in India has been in a state of 'flux' over the last 2 months during Lockdown, as it tries to re-imagine life post COVID 19 Lockdown and how to resume programme delivery whilst protecting beneficiaries and staff from the virus.  The Governing Body of Udayan has been working with our Director Dipak Sahu to develop a range of scenarios, including relevant budget, to look at how we might operate in a post lockdown environment where the virus remains a risk. 

We are refining our plans at the moment and are looking at taking the following courses of action:
  • Disinfection of all the buildings and vehicles of Udayan.
  • Compulsory screening for all people entering through gate with thermal scanner - no staff should come for duty with fever.
  • All the people entering into gate shall be permitted inside only if they are wearing a mask.
  • Hand sanitizers/Handwash shall be kept ready at the entrance for all children, staff members and outsiders.  After entering everyone will sanitize their hands before proceeding to Udayan buildings.
  • Visitors/sponsors/volunteers are not allowed to visit the Udayan cottages and interact with the children during COVID 19 Pandemic period. They can visit the office with permission from Udayan authorities.
  • Special attention will be given to wash rooms/toilets every day, cleaning with phenyl.
  • Sanitisation of Walls/Doors /Windows and all fittings will be done twice in a week.
  • ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ during COVID -19 pandemic will be given to House Mothers and Brothers, which will be displayed at a visible place in each of the cottages.
  • Wearing of masks will be compulsory for all the staff members and children inside Udayan.
  • Before coming to Udayan, children should get a fit certificate issued by a doctor.  Children having cough, cold and fever will not be allowed at Udayan, they will be allowed only after they recover from the infection.
  • Keeping of sanitizers / hand wash in all cottages and at prominent places and in the office will be done. Availability of hand washes in toilet of each cottages & Kitchen basin will be ensured.
  • Concerned House Brothers and House Mothers will promote regular and thorough hand washing for children.
  • After lockdown, when Udayan will be reopening, we will bring the children onto the campus in a phase wise manner.
  • For each cottage there will be a Covid-19 point of contact person. The focal person will be responsible to report the health status of children on a daily basis to paramedical staff and paramedical staff will bring to notice any illness to the Director.
  • Staff members will avoid crowds and will ensure they maintain social distance while working and interacting with children.
  • All the staff members shall daily sanitize their respective Mobile phones, Laptops, Computer touch pads with sanitizer before using it in office.
  • All the groceries and vegetables will be properly cleaned and  sanitized as soon as they are brought from outside before using in kitchen. All the kitchen staff members will use hand gloves, head cover and mask while cooking in community kitchen. Frequent hand wash by cooks will be monitored by Accountant and Store Keeper.
  • Food will be served by maintaining social distance. All the food will be served by using utensils, touching of food by hand will be strictly prohibited. 
  • The Public Helpline numbers of the Central Government of India (1075) and Government of West Bengal Help Line Number (1800313444222/03323412600) to be displayed in all prominent places inside Udayan premises. All House brothers & mothers must keep the same saved in their mobile phones.