Snehalaya's response to COVID 19

As the Corona virus continues to spread across the world, Snehalaya is taking extreme measures to protect our thousands of beneficiaries. Our projects are home to children and women who have reduced immune systems and are therefore at a higher risk from opportunist infections and diseases such as Corona virus and we have been very busy taking precautions to keep our beneficiaries safe and sound and keep ‘THE NOVEL COVID 19’ virus at bay.

We are happy to report that so far we have no suspected cases of the virus.

Maharashtra, where we are based, is currently has registered the largest number of confirmed cases in India and as a result we have been on lock down, with people required to socially distance by staying home, since 24 March. Before the National and state governments intervened, Snehalaya had already taken action by stopping visitors to our projects, reducing our field work and providing our beneficiaries with health and sanitation support.

Despite a reduction in our services, many of our staff remain at work to provide support to our beneficiaries who do not have homes or families they can safely return back to. We continue to promote preventative health measure including boards reminding people to wash their hands frequently and avoid handshakes or close contact with others and our teams have been busy manufacturing washable masks from clean cloth, for compulsory use by caretakers, children, staff and the wider community.

While our own beneficiaries remain our top priority we are also aware that many others are being hit hard by the measures imposed to break the spread of the virus. Therefore we have also been working with the communities most affected by the lock down, this includes daily wage workers, pensioners, the disabled, female sex workers and transgenders, to ensure they are staying home and staying safe, taking adequate hygiene measures, are able to access medical care and vital medicines when needed and that hunger does not become the biggest killer during the pandemic. (See how you can help here)

Below are summaries of the current status of the projects which continue to operate and shelter our beneficiaries:

Rehab Center

Our flagship shelter home is ensuring the health and safety of over 200 children, around half of whom are HIV+, during the pandemic. To reduce the risk of them contracting the virus, we have closed our Rehab Center to all visitors, including staff and suppliers and have relocated our head office away from the site. We are also ensuring that all residents living there do not leave the campus except in emergency situations.

We have enough food, ART medication and supplies for the next few weeks and are running daily activities, including educational sessions, for all children. We are also conducting regular screening for fevers, coughs and colds and have made an emergency plan should a case of Corona virus occur.

GKN Center

The boys in our over 18’s shelter home are adhering to social distancing. Their home is in a relatively remote rural location alongside some of our staff quarters. All residents are staying within their own homes and are avoiding any travelling outside of the campus except in emergency cases.