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#GroundStories | Hiatus, Hope and Happiness- Komal’s Story

By Aditi Joshi, for #COVIDActionCollab

May 5, 2022

With a  smiling face and a frail frame, 26 year old Komal tells her story as she stands proudly by her small shop. She points out that the shop we see overflowing today with all the supplies was almost empty back when the pandemic started. She and her husband started the shop with their meager savings after shifting to the slum rehabilitation area, Chichola Gharkul Yojana. 

Komal’s family did get a pucca house through the Gharkul Yojana, however, they were pushed to the city’s periphery. This robbed them of their sources of livelihoods and were left to fend for themselves. They somehow managed to start their own small business in the area and were receiving a good response. Then the pandemic hit, they faced an acute financial crunch and this forced them to shut the shop with it’s fate unknown.

VaxNow

Accelerating vaccinations for millions of vulnerable people across India

VaxNow is bringing together the Government, Private Sector Organizations, Community leaders, NGOs and the Media to accelerate the vaccination of vulnerable people in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar. These partners will collaborate to reach the unreached through an agile, geographically contextualized plan which will help overcome barriers for vulnerable communities. The criteria for selecting these communities is: people with the highest access barriers, the highest chance of contracting COVID and people living in overcrowded places.

Komal then joined the Aarogya Gat facilitated by Disha Mahila Bahuddeshiya Sanstha (DMBS), a Nashik-based NGO working primarily with sex worker community in the city and also in the area. It is involved in carrying out Skill Development activities there and is also actively using this network to guarantee access to healthcare information, services and social protection to the women and their families. 

Through the Aarogya Gat network and the Social Protection programme , Komal learnt about the PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Yojana which helps small vendors by guaranteeing loans. Komal and her husband got a loan of 10,000/- through the scheme and it helped them revive the shop and finally have a sustainable source of income. She is also encouraging other women to become a part of the network and grow together.

Komal received the much needed relief and support during the crises and her family of five could survive sustainably through the coming times. CAC with the able support from organization like DBMS have thus been truly trying to understand and devise solutions that build long-term resilience in communities and helps them bounce forward.

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COVIDActionCollab is not merely an aggregation of partners, but is an aggregation of capacities, through which we have developed key high impact initiatives. We have drawn upon our one year’s experience at CAC and engagement with our large constituency of partners to put together a menu of initiatives for funders/investors to support which will save lives and livelihoods, and enable vulnerable communities to 'bounce forward’. Support these initiatives to build resilient communities