CAC

COVID BASICS

KNOW COVID-19 TO SAY NO TO COVID-19

Leave No One Behind

By Simran Singh & Radhika Chabria

November 18, 2021

Savita, a new Nurse Aid Caller (NAC) had been with us for less than a week when she casually mentioned, “Ma’am, I don’t do this job for money, by god’s grace I don’t need to, I do this because it gives me a chance to help and that increases my self-worth”, days passed but this one sentence stuck with me. I have a general rule of ‘always get to know your team on a more personal level’, soon enough I realized a version of Savita’s sentiment was the predominant attitude within the team. It was this common need to ensure that we deliver to the best of our abilities that kicked in when we connected with Anitha. 

WeCare

Get us to the finish line of completing a 90-bed hospital for Government of Karnataka

Swasti is setting up a 90 bed modular hospital within the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, which will function as part of the existing Institute. This facility will be used for care provision for COVID in the coming year and in future will provide care for people who come to this facility; it is right next to 2 other Govt. hospitals (NIMHANS and Sanjay Gandhi Trauma Centre)

As per our protocols, the Front Line Workers (FLW) go door to door to conduct Community Surveillance, after which our NACs follow up with them to ensure they’ve saved the helpline number. During one of these calls, Savita interacted with Anitha, a soft-spoken woman who listened with enthusiasm as Savita shared the program’s offerings. Usually, this would be the point where the call ends but it was Savita’s discretion and professionalism that led her to continue the conversation.

Soon Anitha opened up about her situation. She was a 45-year-old widow from Kuvempu village, Anekal who lost her husband to alcoholism three years ago, due to diabetes and other health complications she finds it difficult to walk let alone find work.  She had been dependent on her elder brother who helped her from time to time and had a Below Poverty Line (BPL) card through which she received her ration. Realizing the clear need for social protection Savita transferred her to the Call4Svasth’s programs social protection lead Sangappa. 

Sangappa assessed her situation, reaching out to suggest and counsel her on the “Vidhwa Pension Yojana”. He listed out the documents (death certificate, bank account, BPL card) required and the steps she’d need to follow. For me, this conversation was very humbling because we more often than not tend to brush aside the very real struggles a person in Anitha’s position may have.

Yes, the information for Vidhwa Pension Yojana is clearly available online but this is of little value to her as she is unaware of the schemes she is eligible for. Even if she manages to get this information she wouldn’t know how to proceed.

In particular, her challenge was that she was unaware of how to show a bank account. This is where Sangappa once again stepped in, to understand her query and explained that the SBI bank account she holds at her home village branch would suffice and she just needs the front-page copy of her passbook. Something like this that may seem trivial to us is a major huddle for her. 

 The second roadblock she faces is that her village does not have a municipal office and she has to travel to Anekal to just submit a form. This is where our field Social Protection (SP) Officer stepped in. Much like our FLW, our SP field workers are also from these villages and guide the community through the process of document procurement, copying, filing, and submitting it at the relevant offices.

It had been a week since our first contact with Anitha, Sangappa, Murali, a field-level SP officer, and Savitha continued to follow up with her. During this time Anitha managed to get all the documents together with the support of our field officer. Considering the serious health issues we have offered her a nurse (and if need be a doctor) consultation as well. 

I look forward to the day she is finally able to access her pension.  Meanwhile I am 100% positive that our Call4Svasth team involved at the various levels will ensure she does not get lost in Government bureaucracy. 

What is  Call4Svasth?

Call4Svasth is an Impact Canvas by the #COVIDActionCollab (CAC), it is an integrated digital platform built by Swasti and partners of CAC. This is a community-led integrated approach that uses a telephonic model to address physical, emotional, and social determinants of health. 

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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