Responding to the havoc of the second wave of COVID-19, Samarth Eldercare launched a free COVID-19 relief and rehabilitation program for marginalized and underprivileged communities in Jharkhand and Uttarakhand in partnership with local administration, with support of IIM Calcutta Alumni.
While Samarth has been working round the clock supporting the elderly right from the onset of COVID-19, extending care not only to its members throughout India, but to others through its non-profit forum with a free helpline it started last year, this wave compelled it to extend beyond the elderly through the R&R programme in these states.
The programme has so far included the establishment of two COVID-19 Care Centres with oxygen concentrators in Bokaro and Pauri Garhwal which together cater to the towns and more than 200 villages. For Pauri Garhwal, the centre set up together with Arya Samaj and local administration has been the primary source of support for people in the hills. Apart from the COVID-19 Care centres, Samarth has also been distributing foodgrains to the poverty-stricken and affected population. Keeping the current situation of semi-urban India during the pandemic, the organisation wants to ensure that in case of a third wave, lives and livelihoods can be better protected.
It is also engaged with administration in several cities on ways to support covid vaccination for the marginalised, which is the key to getting people back to work and stay safe and healthy.
Rajesh Kumar Singh IAS, Dy Commissioner of Bokaro said, “This initiative by Samarth to go beyond eldercare in Bokaro and help the underserved communities in these tough times is commendable and we look forward to Samarth’s continued work with the district.”
Dr Rajiv Kumar, Dy Chief Medical Officer, Pauri Garhwal, who is the nodal officer for the COVID Care Centre in Uttarakhand said, “Words are not enough to appreciate this contribution of Samarth and other partners, which has and will benefit thousands of patients in the future.”
Asheesh Gupta, Founder and Chief Care Officer, Samarth, said, “While our work is primarily with the elderly, we felt we had to do whatever we can to help in these trying times. We got support from all over the world which included Indians in 20+ countries whose parents we care for in India, IIM Calcutta alumni, Arya Samaj America and others who saw our work. Our focus on working in the frontline utilising our teams across the country, and making a difference directly on the ground motivated many to come forward to support this initiative. We will keep extending our assistance to the people and communities and keep the initiative going until these dark days are over for good.”
In the first wave, the extension of Samarth’s community initiative, a Free National Helpline for Elderly against COVID in 2020, helped thousands of elderly and their families directly in more than 30 cities over a 4-month period. In addition to this, it also helped create a support ecosystem. With a close-knit network and involvement of local administration, university and college students, local NGOs and business organisations, Samarth emerged as the organisation that helped in providing the elderly with access to essential food, provisions and medical care. Part of this effort was supported by CSR contributions from Coca-Cola India, SBI, Hindustan Unilever.
Since its inception in 2016, Samarth has quietly and systematically transitioned into the largest organisation serving the elderly in India. Its evolution as a comprehensive national organisation serving the full range of needs of the elderly is nothing short of extraordinary. From support, advice, care, services, research, innovation, advocacy, and rights, it encapsulates every aspect of the elderly ecosystem to achieve its goal of enhancing the quality of life of seniors in India. It is well-positioned as a leader across the longevity economy in India.
Samarth has been instrumental in helping thousands of families across the country to fight this crisis better. People from over 20 countries leaned on the organisation for help and reached out to the 200-strong team of care managers to help their parents and other elders living in India.
Several major organisations, both Indian and multinational, have also chosen Samarth as their eldercare partner to help their employees looking after the parents, an important concern for them, especially in these times.
Samarth, along with its consortium partners, has been selected by the Ministry of Social Justice Empowerment, Govt. of India, and respective state governments to implement the National Helpline for Senior Citizens in the states of Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and J&K. It now reaches approximately 10 million elderly through its various initiatives and is the only eldercare organization to offer comprehensive parent-care services across the country.
As published in Lokmat