By Digital Empowerment FoundationPublished on
Page last updated on
This piece was originally published by APC member DEF India.
As the second wave of COVID-19 hits the Indian cities, less visible ones have started emerging in the rural and remote villages. This time, rural India is also experiencing a rise in numbers, assumed to take a turn to a catastrophe of unimaginable scale if ignored, particularly taking into account the fragile condition of rural health infrastructure.
Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), keeping this in view, has again launched an ICT-enabled and community-specific relief programme, COVID-19 Digital Emergency Relief Programme 2.0, through virtual community and service facilitation.
The 850+ foot soldiers are being trained to work as COVID Soochnapreneurs in their communities who will implement the following activities to fulfill the outcomes:
Distribution of the prevention necessities (pulse oximeters, masks, sanitisers, dry rations) to one million people by the COVID Soochnapreneurs.
Dissemination of information through WhatsApp groups/messaging: our COVID soochnapreneurs will reach out to people through messages in the form of audios, videos and infographics.
COVID Soochnapreneurs disseminating verified helpline numbers for local aid resources through WhatsApp and Facebook.
The programme aims to achieve the following potential impacts:
Reaching out to 850+ locations with COVID-19 Virtual Community and Service Facilitation Access in 135 districts and 24 states.
Reaching out to approximately one million households with provision of COVID-19 prevention necessities (masks, sanitisers, dry rations and other products like sanitary pads, milk packs, etc.).
Provision of 1,000 pulse oximeters to frontline health workers.
Mitigating rumours, fake news, misinformation/disinformation on COVID-19 and sharing information about health, nutrition and vaccination.
Increasing awareness, knowledge and understanding of people on COVID-19-appropriate behaviour, vaccine hesitancy and eagerness and sensitive behaviour.
The target audiences for the programme are the general public and specifically the elderly, differently-abled people, pregnant women and lactating mothers, frontline health workers, and migrant workers/daily wage earners.