Issue AreaSocial Services
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COVID Relief Medical Fund for Rural Communities in Maharashtra, India
The situation in India is increasingly getting worse – and this is especially so in rural areas where there is a great deal of misinformation, fear, lack of financial resources and woefully inadequate health systems. The state of Maharashtra currently leads the country in the number of cases and deaths every day. Satara district is the worst affected district in the state with over 25,000 COVID positive patients, 1500+ people testing positive every day and the numbers continuing to rise rapidly.
Mann Deshi Foundation, a twenty-five year old grassroots organisation based in Mhaswad, Satara, and dedicated to the economic empowerment of rural women and their communities, has been involved COVID relief efforts ever since the pandemic hit in March 2020. They have been working very closely with the District Collector of Satara. When the pandemic first hit, our efforts were on food relief – Mann Deshi supported over 20,000 families and 5000 migrant workers – providing medical supplies – including thousands of litres of sanitiser, PPE kits, masks and protective gear – and running safety information campaigns through our community radio which reaches over 50,000 people. They have also refurbished, provided medical equipment and supported two rural hospitals which have benefitted 2500+ people.
The focus now is on ensuring families across the district get medical treatment and support, working closely with front line health care workers to reach every one in need at the grassroots, and securing medical equipment and funds for the hospitals we support. They are also gearing up to partner with local governments to run a large vaccination drive across 12 districts in Maharashtra.
Mann Deshi is seeking immediate support for a medical fund which will support poor rural families in Satara district receive COVID treatment.
Currently large numbers of rural families who are COVID positive are choosing not to go to get tested or seek treatment until it is too late because government hospitals are full and they fear they cannot afford the medical expenses.
This medical fund will contribute to a family’s costs for nutritious food, tests, scans, medicines and any other hospitalization or medical expenses.
Every contribution counts and with friends like you, together they can reach and support those in need.
Mann Deshi Foundation was founded by Chetna Gala Sinha in Mhaswad, Maharashtra in 1996 to support poor rural women have more control over their lives. Mann Deshi’s vision is to empower women to make their own choices and to be celebrated as equal and valuable members of their families and communities. Our mission is to empower women with the knowledge, skills, courage, access and capital to become successful entrepreneurs with more control over their lives. To date, the foundation has reached about 500,000 women and by 2024, we aim to reach one million women.
Economic Empowerment for Women
Set up in 1997, Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank is the first bank set up exclusively by and for rural women. Its over 100,000 clients predominantly include daily wage labourers, small and marginal farmers, vegetable and street vendors, shopkeepers, and numerous micro-entrepreneurs. It is dedicated to their financial inclusion and control.
Most women in rural India, and especially in the areas that Mann Deshi Foundation works, face tremendous gender discrimination and opposition to participate in economic and social life. Our vision is to support women become more independent and we have chosen to focus on economic empowerment to expand women’s choices. It is well documented that economic empowerment expands women’s capacity to control money, feel more confident and have more decision making power about her own and her family’s life. However, women need a great deal of support and training to either start businesses or to expand their existing ones.
Mann Deshi Foundation supports women’s economic empowerment by nurturing entrepreneurship. Our Foundation provides women the training, guidance and support to start and expand businesses and an ever expanding network of peers, role models and leaders. The Mann Deshi Bank provides essential capital and banking services necessary for entrepreneurship. It creates customised financial products for rural women.
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