Dear Friends and Partners of Swabhiman,
Like many of you, Swabhiman and Odisha State disAbility Network are closely following the news about COVID-19 and its progression around the world. India has survived many trials, but Covid19 is clearly a different bale. An invisible enemy, striking fast, killing many and has le us with a frail economy and recession challenges.
As we come to terms with what this means especially for persons with disabilities, we are doing everything we can to protect our team and the communities in all the places where we work. Food, daily living, health, finances and accessibility are the five most important challenges we are dealing with among our communities of people with disabilities.
Our COVID19 response, and future recovery plan has a five-pronged approach.
- Provision of immediate relief of food, essenals and hygiene kit.
- Advocacy for immediate relief to persons with disabilies.
- Awareness on COVID19: Symptoms, Impact and Safekeeping
- Digital, virtual and offline education evaluation and discussion
- Survey and reports for understanding challenges faced by persons with disabilities and future planning of “Life after COVID19 Lockdown” State and District administration are working on war-footing. Actively working in the ground, reaching out to the needy, while maintaining the COVID19 safety protocols, Swabhiman demonstrated that it is a courageous partner that can rise to the challenge.
Swabhiman entered into humanitarian action with support from the state emergency response authorities and the state disaster management authorities to distribute dry ration, hand wash material, protection kits, essentials to the most vulnerable population – people with disabilities and their families, those who are economically impacted by the lockdown and the frontline workers.
But the COVID19 crisis is far from over. We cannot become complacent. For another 18-24 months, or preparation of a vaccine followed by mass vaccination, whichever is early, we must follow the COVID19 safety protocols. We must strengthen our healthcare infrastructure, education structures and livelihood milieu to ensure that people with disabilities are well protected in any future pandemic or emergency situation.
Thank you for your connued support on the long road to recovery ahead.
Dr Sru Mohapatra
Chief Execuve, Swabhiman
Chief Convenor, Odisha State disAbility Network
Date: 23 May, 2020 Place: Bhubaneswar