Covid 19 - lockdown update
By CRF editor, Apr 7 2020 12:23PM
The situation has changed very rapidly and Calcutta Rescue is adapting to serve our patients, students and communities. The lockdown, while justified, has hit the poorest the hardest - nearly all are daily wage earners or beggars, and they have had no income and little access to food.
* Three of our clinics remain open, observing social distancing measures.
* We have been ferrying essential medication and food out to the homes of our priority patients (in one case a 120km round trip)
* We have taken a two week supply of dressings to patients with wounds (for example from leprosy) and sores.
* We provided emergency food to 110 pavement dwelling families. Government has since managed to mobilise and is doing a good job in getting food grains to most areas. These food supplies will last a family of five about 4 days. Going forward we are keeping a close eye on the food needs of our slum communities.
* Our teachers are supporting our 650 students by drawing up worksheets and ringing the children daily to provide coaching over the phone. The parents of around 100 of the children have got smartphones and these children are using them to photograph and send work to the teachers, who mark it and send it back in the same way. Life is very hard with so many of them having to spend each day in one room with their whole family. So our school social worker and career counsellor have been phoning children and parents to check how they are doing and provide counselling where necessary.
We are so proud of how our staff have responded to this emergency - with creativity, commitment and hard work. In one week of the lockdown, CR has helped well over 500 poor families, given almost 4 tonnes of food, provided Rs.3.5L of medicines and driven over 1000km... with fewer than 20 staff able to work.