Setu's intervention during Covid-19
As soon as the lockdown was declared in the state, SETUs started to receive updates from various parts of the district about how the situation impacted the citizens and their livelihoods. SETU Abhiyan at this moment of the disaster looked into opportunities where the existing platforms can be actively involved in the process of developing awareness and taking precautionary measures in the district. SETUs in their coverage areas in five blocks dialogued with the Gram Panchayat Associations. To generate awareness about COVID 19, the Panchayat Association members took up innovative measures to spread the word and shared the same with others. The discussion was based on the intensive impact of the Corona virus and the immediate responsive measures that need to be taken. Audio messages in brief were developed and voice messages recorded by village heads (Sarpanch). In simple language, the audio clip was circulated through Whatsapp groups to all the citizens in their village; SETU helped Gram Panchayats to get the exact information and put it in a simpler and effective form. The message was ensured to contain information on the precautionary measures that should be taken.
The District Gram Panchayat Association collaborated with the local print media known as “Kutch-mitra '' to publish write ups on each Gram Panchayat in the local news. SETUs facilitated the Gram Panchayats for identification of the most vulnerable families during the lockdown period. Ration kits were distributed accordingly to more than 2500 families. The GP members were made aware about the COVID -19 pandemic and supported in developing communicative materials on taking precautionary measures among citizens. A number of GPs also took the initiative of making protective masks by the women’s groups/ SHGs in their villages.
An appeal was made by the Sarpanch members to stay at home to all citizens. Awareness through the use of loudspeakers was done to effectively spread the message. The Gram Panchayat Association became an effective platform to reach out to the Gram Panchayat members within a short span of time. Some of the Panchayats have taken measures for appointing volunteers for implementation of the lockdown. One of the Sarpanch members from the district received calls from the Gujarat Chief Minister to check on the situation of the village and to ensure the steps of lockdown were being implemented properly.
Covid-19 has put hindrance to not just common people but to local governments as well in dealing with their day to day activities including governance activities of the local governments in Kutch. However, there are a number of Panchayats in Kutch who have taken extraordinary steps to curb the spread of Covid-19 cases in their respective panchayats/villages. Setu Abhiyan helped during entire processes/activities as well as helped in documenting the intervention in the form of case studies, reports, research, study and prepared awareness materials such as posters, banners, pamphlets etc.
Apart from facilitating LGs, Setu Abhiyan also helped in providing ration kits, providing health kits, vaccine drive and sanitizers, masks, etc to the panchayats, ward committee members, counselors etc. in dealing with Covid-19 pandemic. Setu also collaborated with a network organisation called ‘Kutch Karuna Abhiyan’ during the second wave of Covid-19 which constituted a tele-medicine centre, provided ration kits, health kits etc.
Setu Abhiyan’s intervention( during Covid-19 Phase-I & Phase-II) are as follows:
- List of Village level vulnerable families prepared by 174 Panchayats
- Total 4195 ration kit distributed to vulnerable families in 86 Panchayats through different sources
- Free Tiffin service for labour migrants in 3 Panchayats (Bhimasar, Varsamedi and Varsana)
- Provided certificate to 4 milk distributors by Panchayats
- 1000 Vegetables Kit distribution in 5 panchayats
- List submitted to mamlatdar under Ann Brahm yojna-114 beneficiary- Kodki Panchayat and 107 Migrant families in Bhuj Urban
In Urban Area:-
- List prepared for vulnerable 170 families with support from ward committees for case support.
- 370 Kit distributed to Migrant labour in Bhuj by support from Bhuj Vepari Mandal and HIC Partners
- 326 ration kit distributed to vulnerable families at Bhuj Urban (Support from Bhuj Vepari Mandal and Mamlatdar office)
- Cash support was provided to 170 vulnerable families and migrant workers (support from KMVS)
- Cash support provided to 51 salt pan workers in Adesar area support from KMVS
Phase-II: Total 1350 rapid testing kits, 56000 masks, 3000 sanitizers, 1000 hand gloves, 5040 glucose, were distributed among various communities in 6 wards in Bhuj and 5 blocks across Kutch to cite a few examples/numbers.