Disasters have always co-existed with human civilization & its progress. Over the last few decades its propensity has been increasingly noticed, & unfortunately India too experienced natural disasters of gigantic proportions causing huge misery in terms of large scale death & destruction. The loss in terms of private, community & public assets have been astronomical BJS identified the area of disaster response management as one of its key area of operation and have undertaken many relief & rehabilitation operations successfully. BJS has successfully leveraged the core strength of the organization evolved over the yearsin successfully executing large relief, rehabilitation projects and coming up with sustainable, meaningful solutions and time bound delivery during catastrophic national disasters.
Core strength of the organization:
o Strong and decisive leadership
o Countrywide network of volunteers
o Long experience in Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation, including Health and Education Rehabilitation.
o Short Response time and time bound delivery
o Recognition for work done
o Was on the panel of NDMA ( National Disaster Management Agency)
2020 saw the world grappling with a new health emergency – the COVID-19 Pandemic. In India, as the number of cases started increasing, BJS swung into action from 1st April 2020, soon after the nationwide lockdown was declared. BJS mobilized it’s karyakartas and joined hands with its partners to support the administration with a mission to prevent further spread and provide prompt support to citizens. Our Wagholi Educational Rehabilitation Centre (WERC) in Pune was turned into a 1000 bed ‘quarantine centre’ and was handed over to the District Collector in March 2020 itself. 11,700 blood bags were collected through several blood donation camps across various districts in Maharashtra over a course of 3 months and were handed over to blood banks to tackle this crisis.
In the first three months, our Mobile Dispensary SEVA provided health support to more than 16 lakh citizens across 49 cities during the lockdown. The focus was on the early detection and assessment of patients to reduce the transmission rate. Along with Pune, Mumbai, and Thane, the program was implemented in 20 districts in Maharashtra, as well as in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, etc.
Amongst others, BJS also contributed significantly to augment Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai’s (MCGM) efforts in Dharavi in Mumbai, Asia’s largest slum spread over 613 hectares with a population of over 6.5 lakhs, which had turned into a COVID-19 hotspot, making it a critical agenda for the administration. BJS deployed 11 mobile dispensaries, conducted health check-ups of more than 21,000 citizens, distributed medicines, and helped identify COVID-19 suspects. MCGM’s dedicated efforts along with BJS’s support led to a complete turnaround in Dharavi, and the COVID-19 mitigation efforts were even recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). The same was the case with Malegaon in Nashik district which had turned into a hotspot, and the joint intervention by Malegaon Municipal Corporation and BJS was instrumental in managing the crisis. Learnings from the initial relief efforts by BJS led to the genesis of “Mission Zero”, which is a Rapid Action Plan for mitigating the COVID-19 crisis in other cities and hotspots.