Strengthening community involvement in Covid-19 response plans

This project is funded by extra-budgetary resources provided by the Government of Canada.
  • Amount funded: £23,381
  • Year: 2021
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Locations: India
  • Grant stream: Annual Grants Call

Communities in India often lack information about Covid-19. This has significant social implications, particularly stigmatisation and discrimination towards those who contract the virus.

Project partners
Blossom Trust
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How we are helping

This project will facilitate a dialogue between civil society and government to strengthen inclusion of community perspectives in Covid-19 response strategies. It will raise awareness of health services including vaccination and testing in rural communities.

About the project

The Government of India responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with a series of measures including a national lockdown and increased testing capacity. A year on, the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt throughout the country with a sharp increase in cases. The impact of the second wave and the discovery of a new highly transmissible strain had detrimental effects for the population.

Lack of information about Covid-19 is causing stigma and discrimination towards individuals who have contracted the virus, particularly within rural communities and vulnerable groups. Those same communities are not always able to benefit from government response plans or articulate their needs to decision-makers.

The project aims to amplify community voices at a grassroots level and connect them with civil society organisations that will form a network to represent these communities at a state level. It will raise awareness of the realities faced by those affected by Covid-19 and enable civil society to advocate for pandemic responses to reflect the needs of their communities. 

It will achieve this by:

  • Establishing a network of 5 women advocates, trained to raise awareness of Covid-19 prevention, care, stigmatisation and discrimination within their communities and to articulate the difficulties faced by Covid-19 patients. 
  • Organising community events in collaboration with the network of women advocates to inform and involve the community in the Covid-19 response. 
  • Training 10 Covid-19 champions from five grassroots non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to target vulnerable groups, including women, in five districts. 
  • Enabling the NGOs to form a network that will amplify community voices to the state level and government levels to influence appropriate policy.

The project will work in the five districts most affected by Covid-19 in the state of Tamil Nadu: Virudhunagar, Madurai, Chennai, Kancheepuram, and Thiruvallur. 

Project Partners
Blossom Trust

Blossom Trust is a grassroots NGO that establishes women-led community-based groups, self-help groups and patient networks across Tamil Nadu, India to give women the recognition and visibility they deserve in community development. Blossom Trust believe that women, when empowered, are the primary agents of change with the ability to uplift their entire community. Core focus areas are health, social welfare, economic empowerment and sustainable agricultural development. They achieve this with community institutions, education and awareness, grassroots initiatives. Recent work includes a project to reduce Covid-19 transmission through community symptom-detection, testing, treatment and income support.

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