Covid-19 & The Struggle to Survive

By Aishwarya Giridhar

The year 2020 was unlike all other years. People passed each day in trauma of catching the deadly disease, worrying on losing their livelihood and distraught on seeing their loved ones suffer. A pandemic is defined as – an outbreak of disease over a whole country or world. But the loss of lives and livelihood is beyond the definition.

India suffered with over 10,758,619 COVID-19 cases; 154,428 deaths and lost over 12.2 crore jobs. (As of February 2021). The whole country suffered and was trying their level best to cope up ,but the hardships faced by tribal community , daily-wage community, and other vulnerable sections of population are unmeasurable. They do not have enough resources and money to procure basic essentials and medical equipments to safeguard themselves and fight the covid-19 battle. Thuvakkam believes and follows the concept of- “Be the change you wish to see”. On March -19, 2020 when WHO declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic disease the team brainstormed and planned on the Covid-19 relief activities. “We quickly formed a WhatsApp group with the volunteers and with the help of existing resources we started understanding their needs to provide the necessary rations and other basic requirements to few families in Kalpakkam district” says Mr. Parthibhan from Thuvakkam.

He further recollects and states, “ The team was very active in social media pages and this helped in flow of public funds. As the demand for rations and sanitary equipments were increasing further from neighbouring districts and other areas, with the help of generous donors and ever-ready local volunteers the team took required permission from the government and was able to help over 700 families to fulfil with all their requirements to the utmost capacity. We then came into limelight under corporate’s radar and Cognizant- A multinational company was interested to collaborate with us and help the society. With their collaboration we further stretched out to other areas such as Tambaram, Villivakkam, Karmadai block in Coimbatore, Gudalur& Nilgiris, Konerrikuppam, viluppuram, Budhavedu & Periya colony in Kanchipuram and Pudhukottai district to name a few and helped a hand to those who were pushed to the brink due to this unprecedented covid-19 pandemic.”

Mr. Parthiban conveyed a gratitude to all the volunteers as he recognises this experience to be the most cherished and memorable one. He also proudly stated, “ with just 50+ humble volunteers and support of CNSI, Cognizant and generous donors we could help over 1900 families with Rs. 18.5 lakhs worth rations & hygiene kits provided across 30+ localities in Tamil Nadu. All the families conveyed heartful thanks for our timely support especially at times when there was a nation-wide lockdown”.

Covid-19 has taught us to be resilient, made us realise the importance of health, and most importantly the value of life. With the experience we all have been through the team’s zeal and enthusiasm has further increased and Thuvakkam is contented that they could instil a little more act of humanity and social responsibility among the people to make this society a better place to live for all!

About Author, 

Aishwarya Giridhar is a student pursuing MBA in Finance. She has been passionate about writing poems, articles, and short stories for school and college magazines since her childhood. Aishwarya underwent an internship at Thuvakkam for the duration of three weeks and gained experience about working in the non profit sector.