Response to Covid-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 has brought the entire world to a halt. Responding to the increased number of cases, Government of India has declared to treat the incidence of Covid-19 as a ‘notified disaster’ for the purpose of providing all sorts of assistance through the State Disaster Mitigation Authorities.
Even as the government is stepping up in several ways, there is need for an all-out response on the crisis on all fronts – social, economic and physical. It becomes a prime responsibility of humanitarian organizations and civil societies to come forward with a defined preparedness and response mechanism to provide additional support to the government to tide over these difficult times. At
the outset, Humara Bachpan Trust started responding to the massive humanitarian crisis brought about by COVID-19 pandemic. Reaching out to disadvantaged communities across the operational districts who have been impacted disproportionately, HBT’s response to this unprecedented crisis has been multifaceted.

HBT’s Interventions to prevent and Respond COVID-19 Pandemic

Community Awareness Generation: In the immediate aftermath of the outbreak, Humara Bachpan Trust started taking initiatives of infection prevention and control with community level awareness programmes in urban slums of Bhubaneswar, Puri and Cuttack city and in the villages of Astaranga and Kakatpur from early March to contain the spread of virus. The team members and volunteers started sensitizing communities on the need to maintain hygiene and take precautionary steps to promote behavioural change and have reached out to more than 3500 households in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri district by 31st March 2020.

Addressing Hunger & Food Scarcity: After the announcement of the 21-day lockdown, from 28th March 2020, HBT with support received from FICCI Ladies Organisation Bhubaneswar Chapter started distributing cooked food to the poor and vulnerable people of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack two times a day. The organization has reached to 3035 families of daily wage earners, who have lost out on employment in this time of crisis and migrants who are left stranded near railways stations and bus stops and the most vulnerable people such as elderly, persons with disability, widow, destitute, leprosy cured people till end of March 2020. The volunteers maintained the social distance and followed the hygienic practices while doing the food distribution work.

Mental Health Program: Psychosocial intervention has become a valued dimension of present health emergency situation and HBT
recognized psychological recovery as a focus of relief effort. Lock down made people staying home away from families (those who couldn’t go back home), lack of social contacts and with loss of livelihoods which resulted in mental stress and trauma. Humara Bachpan Trust in partnership with FICCIFLO Bhubaneswar Chapter has started a telephone helpline “ASHA (Love & Care during Crisis) on 29th March 2020 for people to talk and share if they feel helpless, fearful, frustrated or anxious during this difficult time. Certified and experienced psycho-social counselors of ‘ASHA’ helpline are providing counseling support over tele calls to covid positive cases, stranded people, youth, elderly, children and women facing family conflicts and violence. Till 31st March, more than 300 people from different corners of the country are contacted and provided with psychosocial counseling support.