SKOCH Award Nominee
Sub-Category: Panchayat Raj and Rural Development
Project: Sustainable Employment Generation during lockdown
Start Date: 2020-05-04
Organisation: Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty,
Government of Andhra Pradesh
Respondent: Mr A.Md Imtiaz, IAS, Chief Executive Officer, SERP
SERP Fights Food Scarcity & Health Safety Challenges During Covid-19
Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty, Government of Andhra Pradesh, worked tirelessly to fight the challenges posed by Covid-19.
There were a lot of health and safety risks stemming from severe problems like food scarcity and a dearth of wage employment because of the pandemic. People were unable to procure essential goods.
The SERP team prioritised awareness-building efforts. They educated the people about all government policies and services regarding Covid-19 prevention, the seriousness of the pandemic, the risks of infection and tackled misconceptions like the virus not being an airborne infection. Awareness-building in the VOs, MSs and ZS communities also helped counteract the psychological trauma caused by the pandemic. Departmental convergence and food supply like community kitchens helped fight starvation. The SERP staff distributed Covid-19 safety gear like masks, hand wash, sanitisers and PPE kits to SHGs.
The SERP teams delivered essential supplies to those in need. Mask and sanitiser use increased as a result of their efforts, as did practices like hand washing and social distancing. Enhanced department convergence, such as the collaboration of the Horticulture Department, helped supply fruits to the SHGs.
SERP staff faced difficulties while traveling to the villages as road barricades banned vehicle entry in. The local communities were cynical and suspicious of the SERP team. The communities also did not adapt to proper mask usage easily, because of discomfort and unfamiliarity, making themselves vulnerable to the pandemic. Timely transport of food and perishable supplies was a challenge that had to be met to prevent wastage.
Healthy, nutritious food helped local communities boost their natural immunity to prevent and fight the Covid-19 infection. Monitoring and review mechanisms at the State, District, Mandal and Village level helped oversee the programme. Auto Rickshaws and the Dandora method were used to raise awareness.
The practices can be used to prevent another wave or infection outbreak.
SERP was instrumental in fighting and controlling the spread of Covid-19 in the state, and especially in minimising its impact on vulnerable populations.
For more information, please contact:
Mr A.Md Imtiaz, IAS, Chief Executive Officer, SERP at firstname.lastname@example.org
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