What did SIB do during the Lockdown Year?

Even as 2020 swung into action with an unknown, dreaded virus that literally shut down half the world and sent it into a semi-coma stage, SIB made use of all these half-lit days to take some of its plans forward.

  1. Enabling Bangalore Environment Trust (BET) for enabling ASHA workers.

On October 1, SIB donated Rs 34,000 to enable Bangalore Environment Trust (BET), so that they could sponsor 200 PPE kits for Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers. ASHA is an all-woman army, or community health workers who have been instituted by the government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), as part of the National Rural Health Mission.

However, ASHA workers are not paid well nor are they given safety equipment to protect themselves. Yet, they are in need of help and support conducting door-to-door campaigns to create awareness about safety measures people need to take, in order to prevent Covid-19. They also explain how you can take care of those who are tested Covid positive.

  1. Donating funds to help resettlement colonies

In April, SIB gave Rs 10,000 to Parikrama, an educational NGO, in order to enable

  • Distribution of food provisions and soap to almost 1,778 persons in Dasarahalli and Hegdenagar, to tide them through rough weeks.
  • Disbursal of books and homework dealing with artwork as well as essays to children

 

  1. Helping women to manufacture masks

In May, SIB contacted women associated with its vocational centre, Garima. Learning that the women manufactured thick, cloth masks, SIB placed orders for and collected 3,000 washable and reusable masks from their homes.

  1. Distributing masks to children

On May 21, after the lockdown eased a little, the team stepped out to take up a few tasks. SIB members contributed 3,000 masks to the ‘Mask Bank’, a special group set up by Bharath Scouts and Guides. SIB handed over the masks to the Principal, Geetika Kharola, of the Bharath Scouts and Guides Centre, which is located in a school at HSR Layout.

The Scouts will be disbursing the masks to SSLC students, who are travelling to different centers in the state to write their exams in June.

Masks were also given to children of Gerizim Orphanage.

 

  1. Giving sanitary napkins

On May 28, World  Menstrual Hygiene Day, SIB worked with SAFAL, an NGO set up by an SIB member Rumi Sikdar, in order to distribute sanitary napkins to a 1,000 migrant women headed towards West Bengal. SIB also gave napkins to local garment factory workers.

At a special meeting, there were some exchange of talks, in which the garment factory workers were given a brief outline about menstrual hygiene and also understood the tasks taken up by the Bengaluru committee.

It was interesting and heartwarming to see a number of the male workers coming forward to pick up a few sanitary napkin packs for their womenfolk.

The Lockdown did not lock down SIB’s work. Distribution of funds, tasks, masks, napkins and some talks on how to use the masks helped SIB to make a difference.

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