Covid-19 response by Udayani Social Action Forum

COVID 19 Relief Program 
Sampurna Nari Sangathan (SNKS) Bishnupur 1, 
Nari Mukti Sangathan (NMS) Kalna II, Adarsha 
Nari Sangathan (ANS) Jamalpur, Jagriti Nari 
Sangathan (JNS) Kalna I & Pratusha Nari 
Sangathan (PNS), Pandua 
South 24 Pgs., Burdwan & Hooghly 
Total participants 
1864 Families 

Udayani initiated COVID 19 Relief Program in Bishnupur, Kalna II, Jamalpur, Kalna I and Pandua. The regional NGOs in the said blocks collaborated with Udayani to carry out the Relief Work at the grass root level. Farmers, Migrant labourers, Daily Wage Labourers, Widows, Elderly and non-ration card holders were most adversely affected as a result of the lock down mainly because the migrant and daily wage labourers have lost their means of income due to which they are unable to support their family. Widows and the people suffering from old age belong to the most vulnerable sections of the society. Even before the lockdown they were dependent on their village community or the members of their extended family but now with the total stagnation of the market system and loss of employment has totally stopped even the little amount of support that they received from others. People are unable to sustain themselves in this crisis period so obviously it is futile to expect these groups of people would receive help from others.

The Executive Committee members of Sampurna Nari Sangathan in Bishnupur, Nari Mukti Sangathan in Kalna II, Adarsha Nari Sangathan in Jamalpur, Jagriti Nari Sangathan in Kalna I & Pratusha Nari Sangathan in Pandua conducted a field survey in the villages to find out the number Landless Farmers, Migrant labourers, Daily Wage Labourers, Women, Aged people, people with no ration card and RKSY II card holders. After the survey they chose and enlisted the names of the beneficiaries. Once the beneficiaries were enlisted, they calculated the amount of ration that would be required to prepare the dry ration kits for all the beneficiaries, they prepared a budget and calculated the expenses that would be incurred in the relief response work. This was followed by the purchase of dry ration at the local grocery stores, transportation and packaging at the regional NGO offices. The EC members booked motor vans and distributed the food grains among the families of the beneficiaries enlisted for the relief response program.

Once the Packaging was done the COVID 19 relief work was carried on in the respective blocks. Dry ration was distributed among the enlisted beneficiaries. Each ration kit in Bishnupur 1, Kalna II, Jamaplur, Kalna I and Pandua consisted of 5kg rice, 1kg cooking oil, 1kg of pulses and 2 soap bars. The details of the program are enlisted below:

1. Sampuna Nari Kalyan Sangathan (SNKS) – Bishnupur

On 17th – 18th April 2020, the executive members of SNKS distributed dry ration kits among the needy people. These kits were distributed across 3 panchayats. On 17th April 2020, dry ration was distributed among the families in Raghavpur, Panakua, Bekeshwar, Dakshin Banhooghly, Chararchalk, Kheyari, Devipur and Mangurkhali villages. On 18th April 2020, dry ration was distributed among the families in Nurshidarchalk, Chalkbalaibag, Chalkataula, Kolmikhali, Jhajra, Prasadpur, Betberiya, Kalicharanpur and Malikelenoi villages. The second relief response program was conducted on 6th May 2020, were dry ration kits were distributed among 200 families of Chalkataula, Chalkbolaibag, Devipur, Jhajra, Ramkantopur, Prasadpur, Panakua, Charakchalk, Kolmikhali, Bodhokpara, Tetultola, Mallikpara, Dhapakhali, Betberiya, Topona, Raghavpur, Mangurkhali, Julpiya, Kalicharanpur, Dakhin Bonohooghly, Charakdanga, Chalknitai and Andharmanik villages. The distribution center was at SNKS office, Nepalgung Hat. In 3 days, dry ration was distributed among 450 families (3 in a family), the total beneficiaries are 1350. The seven Executive members of SNKS risked their lives and tirelessly worked for three long days to make this program a success.

2. Nari Mukti Sangathann (NMS) – Kalna II

The Relief work at Kalna II was carried on in two Phases. The 1st distribution program was conducted on 19th April 2020. On 19th, dry ration was distributed among 210 families across 2 panchayats. The second part was conducted on 24th April 2020was distributed among 210 families who were left out from the first distribution session. The kits were distributed among the members of Hatgacha, Bansai, Uppar Bansai, Beguniya, Jamirtola, Jhero, Ekchaka, Kashipur, Hijuli, Malikelenoi and Sarvamongola. In two days, dry ration was distributed among 420 families (3 in a family), the total beneficiaries 1260. The ration was taken to every village on motor van and was distributed among the beneficiaries. The nine executive members of the NGO, the Solar coordinator and some of the family members of the Executive Committee members, selflessly devoted their energy and time to help those who are utterly helpless and needy.

3. Adarsha Nari Sangathan (ANS) – Jamalpur

The relief work in Jamalpur was conducted from 25th – 28th April 2020. Dry ration kits were distributed among the members of 8 villages. Dry ration was distributed among 402 families (3 in a family), the total beneficiaries 1206. On 25th April, dry ration was distributed among 175 families in Nabagram, Moynan and Mushunda. On 26th April, 60 dry ration kits were distributed in Shalmula. On 27th April dry ration was distributed among 110 families in Mohnpur and Sanchra and on 28th April dry ration was distributed among 55 families in Mirepara. Following the government guidelines, the distribution was strictly conducted within a time span of 11:00 am – 12:00 noon every day. While distributing ration, the members of Adarsha Nari Sangathan also encouraged the people to stay safe and to follow the guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID – 19 virus. Specially while distributing the soaps the recipients were asked to wash their hands properly before every meal. To honor the initiative taken up by Adarsha Nari Sangathan, the Panchayat Pradan of Ajhapur was also present during the relief program. The local media also showed some interest in this program and broadcasted.

4. Jagriti Nari Sangathan (JNS) – Kalna I

The relief program in Kalna I block was conducted from 22nd – 26th April 2020. Dry ration kits were distributed in 8 villages. A total of 277 families (3 in a family), the total beneficiaries 831 were covered under this program. The names of the eight villages were the distribution program was conducted are as follows, Mirjabati, Khanpur, Dhupsha, Muktarpur, Khanyan, Uttar Rameshwarpur, Muragacha and Shikarpur.

5. Pratusha Nari Sangathan (PNS) – Pandua

The relief program in Pandua was conducted from 7th – 11th May 2020. Dry ration kits were distributed in seven villages. A total of 315 families (3 in a family), the total beneficiaries 945. On 7th May dry ration was distributed among twenty families in Kasondipara village. On 8th May, dry ration was distributed among eighty families in Jaganathpur village. On 9th May, dry ration was distributed among 105 families in Boragori village and 10 families in Deypara village. On 10th May, Dry ration was distributed among 52 families in Kanur village and on 11th May dray ration was distributed among 24 families in Batna village and 24 families in Belgachi village. The Executive Committee members of PNS risked their lives to help the people in need.

The members of the regional NGOs involved in the COVID 19 relief program strictly followed the government’s preventive guidelines. They followed social distancing by drawing circles on the ground, 1 meter apart as an indication for the beneficiaries to maintain social distancing. Additionally, each of them wore a mask and used sanitiser before and after handing over the grocery kits to the beneficiaries.

The government of India has taken up active steps to provide relief for people stuck in this situation, especially for the people belonging to unorganized sector and those who have lost their means of livelihood due to the lock down. Special subsidized packages have been announced for the people belonging to this section and social security measures have also been announced for the elderly. The allotments under these subsidized packages include 15kgs rice,19kgs wheat flour per family & 5kgs pulses per person for AAY card holders, 2kg rice, 2kgs 850gms wheat flour & 5kgs pulses per person for SPHH and PHH card holders and 5kgs rice per person for RKSY I & II card holders. In addition to this the state government of west Bengal has also enacted Sneher Porosh Scheme to provide monetary assistance to for migrant laborers, Prochesta scheme to provide monetary assistance to daily wage laborers who have lost their means of livelihood due to the lockdown and Jai Bangla scheme to provide old age pension. But their implementation at the field level is barely minimum therefore; this initiative of Udayani was aimed at attending to those who are being deprived of their lawful rights and entitlements.


Udayani along with its regional NGOs SNKS, NMC, ANS, JNS & PNS has been successful in achieving its objectives as the beneficiaries who received the grocery kits at Bishnupur said that from what they have received they will be able to feed their children for a few more days. Some people from Kalna II said that the 1kg oil that they have received; they will use it for 25 days to cook food for their children. The beneficiaries over the five blocks were really happy to receive the assistance. The EC members of the 5 NGOs who have mainly executed the program at the field level are ecstatically delighted to render help to their community members. Overall, this program went on to be a success in addressing the food security in the present situation.