Covid relief - IDIA

IDIA’s Response to COVID -19 (Second Wave)

Call for Support and Updates

We, at IDIA, are doing our bit in the fight against the pandemic. We have launched a pilot in rural areas of West Bengal, and have set up isolation centres, boat ambulances, and verified information portals. We will also be launching other initiatives. We have also distributed pulse oximeters in parts of Himachal Pradesh.

Distribution Drives in West Bengal

Picture of a boat with a white IDIA banner on the side. There are people standing in the boat. It is docked on the shore.
Provisions kept on tables. People with masks are standing or sitting on the back side of the tables. A woman in a saree is collecting provisions in a bag. There is an IDIA banner behind them.

We distributed essential provisions such as dry food items, hygiene products and masks to 2000 families in 12 villages as part of 6 distribution drives in 2021. We also collected over 150 kgs of plastic from Sunderbans by incentivizing people with an egg for a bag of plastic! In addition, we sensitised people about the importance of getting vaccinated. We are thankful to all the volunteers and logistics partners who helped in implementing the drives on the ground.

Isolation Centers in Rural West Bengal

As India grapples with the second wave of COVID-19, IDIA (being a grassroots community-oriented organization) desires to contribute its bit to fight this battle by setting up “Isolation Centers” in the Sundarbans area of West Bengal. These isolation centers will be in some of the villages for people with mild symptoms of COVID-19 where there is lack of resources such as space, medicines, and medical equipment to self-isolate.

Our response includes:

a) Establishing centers that will allow isolation to those with symptoms before hospitalization.

b) The centers will be rural-focused with the first one in a village called Murokhali in West Bengal.

c) The centers will have medicines, food, and other basic facilities.

Photograph of a bed with fan, pillow and other things kept on it. There is a blue bedsheet on it and some other provisions are kept on it.
Photograph of a bed with fan, pillow and other things kept on it. There is a blue bedsheet on it and some other provisions are kept on it.

The first of the many such isolation centers has been set up at the Murokhali village in Sundarbans. It can also accommodate people from the following nearby villages: Choto Geokhali, Boro Geokhali, Chak, Purandar, Krishanagar.

Boat Ambulances

Photograph of a boat with a man wearing a mask standing on it.
Photograph of a boat with a white banner that has IDIA logo and "Boat Ambulance for Covid patients" written on it. There are some provisions kept on the boat.

In Sundarbans, many remote villages are best accessible through the waterways. In order to meet the needs of these remote villages, IDIA will be setting up boat ambulances that can be used in cases of emergency.

The first such ambulance has been set up at Purba Sripatinagar which is in a remote corner of Sunderbans. The boat ambulance has been equipped with medicines, thermometer, pulse oximeter, sanitisers, mineral water, PPE kits for attendants and boatman etc. It will reduce the time needed to reach the nearby hospital by half. IDIA hopes to set up more such ambulances. We have assisted 30 villagers to get tested for COVID 19 by providing transportation to Madhabnagar Government Hospital, which is 2 hours away.

Database of Resources for West Bengal

We prepared a database of resources for certain districts of West Bengal for those fighting COVID-19. The database contained leads for hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and concentrators, plasma / blood donation centres, ambulance services, COVID testing centres, home care facilities, online doctor consultations, and meals delivery services. The leads in the database were verified and updated periodically by a team of around 40 volunteers who were working dedicatedly all day. We had also set up a helpline for those faced any trouble in accessing/understanding the database. Volunteers were available between 10:30 am to 7:30 pm everyday.

Distribution of Pulse Oximeters in Himachal Pradesh

4 cardboard boxes with A4 size sheet printed on it. The print out has IDIA logo, IDIA's name, Oximeter Bank and Care for Himachal written on it.
Pulse oximeters piled on top of each other.

300 pulse oximeters have been procured for distribution in Himachal Pradesh. They will be handed over to the authorities and hospitals of Kullu and Lahaul Spiti for being lent to people with symptoms on a returnable basis. Distribution has already started. 100 digital thermometers have also been procured for distribution. This initiative is being carried out in collaboration with Smriti Parsheers, Abhishek Parsheera and Shaili Parsheera.

Other Initiatives

In addition, IDIA is trying to:

  • Launch Covid-19 sensitization drives along with distribution of masks, soaps, etc.
  • Establish blood donation camps.
  • Organizing medical tests, including oximeter checks, at centers in rural West Bengal.

During Covid-19 and Cyclone Amphan in 2020

Photograph of a person handing over buckets contraining provisions to a woman. There are other people standing in the background. Buckets with provisions are kept below.

We distributed food and essential provisions such as rice, pulses, cooking oil, soaps, sanitary napkins, etc. in the Sundarbans and Kolkata depending on the needs of the families in the community.

A pile of books kept in front. Some kids and two adults standing behind them.

In collaboration with “Prantojon” initiative, we distributed 300 books to establish Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer Night School & Library! We also donated bookshelves. This has helped nearly 2000 students all of whom come from the most marginalized communities.

A tower being repaired by two men on the left hand side. Photograph of a man carrying a kid on his shoulder on right hand side.

We helped in the construction of a tele tower in a remote village called Purbo Shreepati Nagar in the Sundarbans  to help make online education accessible in the time of the pandemic.

Two photographs of broken huts on left side with two corresponding photographs of repaired huts on right side. Before and after is written on the photographs.

We helped in the construction of houses in the Beleghata slum in Kolkata for families who were left without shelter due to the onslaught of Cyclone Amphan.

Impact in Numbers in 2020

  • In 12 distribution drives across 14 villages in West Bengal, we distributed relief material to 1600+ families.
  • By establishing Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer Night School & Library in Chaltaberia village of Bhangar Li Thesil, we provided access to around 2000 students from marginalized communities to basic books and study facilities.
  • We have constructed 10 houses in the Beleghata slum in Kolkata till now.

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