When the lockdown was announced suddenly to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all sections of society were facing problems in accessing essential services. The lockdown was especially tough on already vulnerable communities such as people living with HIV (PLHIV), female sex workers, transgender people and men who have sex with men (MSM).
In order to support these communities in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, tackle some of the challenges resulting from COVID-19, Swasti collaborated with SVP as a strategic partner. This partnership resulted in raising the funds needed to implement relief activities for the aforementioned communities. SVP and its lead partners supported 1,200 vulnerable members from nine community organizations (CO).
Four of the COs are located in Andhra Pradesh, while the other five are in Telangana. The project started on May 12, 2020, and lasted for a period of two months. Its primary objective was to provide immediate relief (one month's food) through ration kits with essential ingredients like rice, wheat, oil, sugar, salt, etc. Moreover, PPE (personal protection equipment) kits were delivered to staff members of said CBOs.
PLHIV depend on ART (antiretroviral therapy) medicines. Due to the regular use of ART medicines, they suffer from some common side effects which means that their nutritional requirements are different from others. To address this issue, special kits were distributed to PLHIV and regular kits were provided to others.
Take the case of Gowri, a 34-year-old, mother of two from Andhra Pradesh. She lost her livelihood during the COVID-19 pandemic and was struggling to feed her children, even going to the extent of having to lie to them every single day about how she would give them a proper meal the next day. The ration kit that reached her, thanks to our partnership, ensured that she and her children could eat three square meals a day.