In India, more than one third (31.16%) of the 1.21 billion people who live here, live in urban areas, with approximately 14% living below the national poverty line (Census, 2011). Poverty and ill health are inseparable. Poverty keeps the poor less nourished, with little information and ability to access healthcare, and a greater exposure to personal and environmental risks.
In response to this vicious cycle of ill health and poverty, Migros and Swasti decided to do something about the struggles of urban poor. We came together to seek sustainable solutions through Swasti’s flagship programme—Invest for Wellness (i4we).
In 2020, Migros supported Swasti to implement i4we initiatives in the three urban slums of Narsinghpur, Sector-75A and Shanti Nagar. Primarily, these are settlement colonies for urban, migrant poor, located in the periphery of industrial areas in Haryana’s Gurugram.
The initiatives included providing value-added (health and well-being) packages to i4we members, like screening and treatment of chronic conditions, access to social protection schemes, health products, financial services etc.
These packages also involved health education and awareness, clinical consultations for primary and preventive health care, as well as the strengthening of community institutions and leaders to sustain i4we operations.
If we talk numbers, our partnership resulted in 1,091 individuals receiving primary health clinic consultations. Moreover, 2,280 people received their first COVID-19 vaccination dose.
The year 2021 witnessed one of the biggest public health crises in India, caused by the second wave of COVID-19, leading to the loss of life at a large scale.
In such tough times too, i4we continued to deliver primary health care and strengthen vaccination, to ensure that people from the urban poor and marginalized communities do not get left behind. Besides this, Migros stepped in time and again to support i4we members with other essentials for a healthy life such as dry ration, hygiene kits and clothes.