Our Response to COVID 19 is focused on

● RELIEF WORK     ● AWARENESS ON HEALTH AND HYGIENE     ● SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS FOR THE COMMUNITIES

Identified the most needy poor, the destitutes and migrants in five mandals of the LEED project area (Duttalur, Marripadu, SR Puram, Vinjamoor, and Udayagiri) through a quick dip survey involving teachers and youth.

● Understanding the needs of the identified families, we designed a ration kit with food and hygiene items, which would meet the requirements of the family for a week to 10 days.

Food kit : 10 kgs of rice, 2 kgs of toor dal, 1 litre oil, 2 kgs of onions, 2 pickle sachets and 1 salt packet.

Hygiene/ Sanitation kit : Three-layered washable masks, one washing, and 2 bathing soaps.

Awareness campaign : Awareness on COVID19, implications, social distancing, hygiene, hand-washing, and the need for staying indoors was imparted.

● In addition to this, more than 5000 three-layered masks were produced and distributed in police stations, PHCs, SHCs, MDO office, and the MRO office.

● The SEEDS team and volunteers conducted a survey and identified the families who are in dire need of support.

● Supported by local development, revenue, and police department authorities.

With the imposition of lockdown to fight the battle against COVID19, rural livelihoods have been the worst hit.  The poor and vulnerable people such as distressed daily wagers, single mothers, children, and migrant labour were drastically affected. The migrants in our project area returned with empty pockets and shattered assurances. There was an increased sense of panic and distrust associated with people returning to villages

Project area being a dryland zone with most of them dependent on little/meagre agriculture practiced, while making daily wages within the same area. That said, the lockdown has largely impacted their livelihoods and food security. For those without access to government entitlements, it has only been much worse.

In this context, we have identified the following areas that need to be prioritized as part of the battle against COVID19 to alleviate the distress in rural areas.

Three priority areas identified were:

● Immediate food, healthcare and sanitation for the poorest of the poor, particularly from the vulnerable communities

● Protective equipment such as masks for public usage

● Economic restoration in the immediate/long-term– towards sustainable livelihoods

With the support of several donors and believers, we swiftly responded to the immediate needs of the community, with a simultaneous focus on long-term solutions. With an emphasis on Education and Economic Development, which has been our primary focus, we have designed a plan and worked on the same.

● Continuous awareness/education on hygiene and sanitation – through school students and youth groups

● Mapping of “Essential Rural Services” and “Skilled and Unskilled labor” in the project area and thereby implementing Wage Employment + Entrepreneurship initiatives for youth

● Promotion of sustainable development models to arrest migration through our “One Hectare Model” of intensive integrated farming, which helps the local youth to be Farm Entrepreneurs, thus boosting the local economy

● To restore vulnerable families’ livelihoods, train women in sewing machine operation, and provide wage/self-employment.

● Maintenance of a database of daily wagers, migrants, and the destitute at the local level with development/revenue authorities or Gram Panchayats as a long-term solution to devising appropriate solutions for the people at the bottom of the pyramid

With an emphasis on farm allied activities such as dairy, goatery, backyard poultry, etc., farmers have been supported in diversifying their income basket with a combination of short-term and long-term livelihoods. We are also in the process of creating a cadre of Fashion Design Entrepreneurs through a comprehensive Entrepreneurship Development Programme for rural women interested in the apparel sector

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