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.
Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana and the Municipal Corporations of Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have joined hands to make the COVID-19 vaccination program a successful Jan Andolan through people’s participation. This unique initiative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Desh Apnayen, CREDAI-MCHI and StepOne in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai; and by Force Motors and StepOne in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. The initiative will soon be scaled to other cities of Maharashtra as well. Important activities of Mission Lasikaran include:
Awareness Drives: • Development of creatives and IEC material, approved by government • Large-scale awareness campaign using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp etc. • Sharing of creatives/IEC material with Municipal Corporations across Maharashtra for dissemination through their social media handles, VMDs etc. • Vaccination centre-based awareness campaigns using creatives and IEC material for distribution to citizens, audio-visuals, selfie-points etc. • Prachar Raths in select high-priority areas • Highly visible electronic and print media awareness drive on authentic vaccination-related information through interviews/talk shows featuring experts/leaders
“Swagat Kaksh” or Help Desk at Government Vaccination Centres: • Help desk and volunteers to assist citizens with their vaccination-related queries • Information about the vaccination process, assistance for registration etc. • Site management to ensure a smooth vaccination process for citizens • Public announcements on the vaccination process and for crowd control • Display and distribution of vaccination-related public awareness material • Assistance to senior and co-morbid citizens arriving at the centre Post-Vaccination Follow-up: • Structured follow-up of all vaccinated citizens using StepOne technology platform • Doctor’s call to citizens who report AEFIs • Escalation to government health authorities, if needed