Guwahati: As an emergency move preceding the lockdown extension, Small Wish International (SWI) has announced Small Wish International Humanitarian Network to lead organised humanitarian efforts across Assam. The network will bridge the co-ordination gap between individual humanitarian efforts and the NGOs making relief efforts and shall bring about a cumulative organised initiative.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the 21-day lockdown to May 3.
Although relief efforts seem to work on a grand scale, sometimes they fail to help the underprivileged who are disproportionately affected by the lockdown. Volunteers and NGOs who are doing their part in mitigating the damage by providing food and medical emergency kits seems to be at a loss when it comes to the target audience.
“At times, a particular household of a slum area gets ration and grocery supply from two-three different volunteer groups while the rest remains hunger-stricken,” said Arif Ahmed, CEO of SWI. It does not matter the amount of help given if that amount is not done in a regulated manner, he added.
Moreover, not many know the exact number and details of the people residing in the different slums of Guwahati. Hence, providing groceries for a few and leaving the rest is akin to putting a bandage on a major artery cut, said Ahmed. “Through this initiative, the humanitarian network aims to bring all the efforts of various individuals and NGOs under one umbrella so that a proper amount of help reaches the right people. A total of over 100 such humanitarians are already a part of this organised movement.
Along with food relief, NGO SWI is also making community awareness through inter-personal communication towards practising hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, physical distancing, educating them about high-risk groups, the vulnerability of children to psycho-social stress, encouraging behavioural changes, ending stigma discrimination while addressing their myths and misconceptions surrounding the spread of coronavirus, as per the information verified and supported by the World Health Organization.