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Rising to the Challenge

The second wave of COVID-19 hit India hard, rapidly penetrating rural pockets. The challenge is to save rural communities from the pandemic as their limited and stressed health infrastructure is still reeling from the disruption from the first wave. 


The critical needs of this situation has required that S M Sehgal Foundation teams' focus in India be put toward urgent relief work. However, the teams are anxious to maintain the momentum of the ongoing sustainable development initiatives and programs that are creating long-term positive impacts on rural India. 


The immediate plan is to deliver all the proposed emergency supplies to those in need as soon as possible, and to continue carrying out the most critical roles in our program areas.

In Spotlight: Agents of Change

   
   
   
   
   
   
   


Dr. Subhash Kshetrapal and Mrs. Seema Kshetrapal

"It all starts with us," Dr. Kshetrapal (Dr. Pal) is a perfect example for this. Dr. Pal spearheaded fundraising among groups in the US to help address the second wave in India. He committed to help Sehgal Foundation, US, raise $100,000 and himself gave a large donation towards COVID-19 relief project of Sehgal Foundation.



India Association of Minnesota (IAM)

IAM's second round of fundraising efforts are helping to supply much needed oxygen concentrators (O2C). Supported by IAM’s corporate partners like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and Medtronics, both of whom encouraged their employees to donate for this cause. With donations from board members, community members from around the Twin Cities, and the support of corporate partners, IAM raised over $28k. We thank Mr. Kiran Bandi, president, IAM, (in the picture on the left) for the generous support through IAM.


Sia Agnihotri 

Sia Agnihotri, a 11-year-old sixth-grader from Ames, US, raised over $3,700 for COVID relief in India with her unique "Jars of Hope" initiative. Selling homemade cheesecakes made by Sia and her mother Manu Agnihotri came as an idea to fundraise when Sia was nervous for her grandparents in India amidst rising cases last month. Read a report from Ames Tribune to know about her initiative. Join us to congratulate Sia for this wonderful start!




Mosaic India Pvt. Ltd.

Our long standing partner, Mosaic India Pvt. Ltd, and Mosaic Company, US, supported us to provide COVID relief supplies across nine states. Their teams in the US (Ben Pratt - SVP, Government and Public Affairs and Karla Guzman-Mims, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager), China team (Cathy Chao and Liv Li) and India (Robin Edwin, country head and managing director and Shashikant Bhende, general manager) have been exceptional and a great support without whom these relief efforts would not be have been possible. 

Partners’ support is enabling COVID relief work in nine states

While rural communities represent 66 percent of India’s population, nearly 60 percent of hospitals, 80 percent of doctors, and 75 percent of clinic-pharmacies are located in urban areas. A severe shortage of medical personnel, oxygen, ICU beds, and other life-saving equipment continues. Basic essentials such as masks, sanitizers, PPE kits, gloves, oximeters, among others are still lacking in the villages. 

A call to action from Sehgal Foundation brought about a quick and timely response from in partners such as Mosaic India Pvt. Ltd., and organizations and individual donors from the US, including Guru Krupa Foundation, India Association of Minnesota (IAM), which have made it possible for the foundation to bring COVID relief materials to rural communities in nine states of India where the foundation is working. All donations together with matching grants from Suri and Edda Sehgal (cofounders, S M Sehgal Foundation in India and Sehgal Foundation, US), reached a milestone amount of $400,000, which will save many lives.

Our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to our partners who have donated generously in helping people have access to treatment. You can still help us to further these COVID-19 relief efforts in rural India!

District Magistrate, Nuh, Haryana 

(Source: Bharat TV)

District Magistrate, Mahendergarh, Haryana 

   

Addressing awareness of COVID through Community Radio

   

Alfaz-e-Mewat FM 107.8 has been on air since 2012 with its 13-hour daily broadcasts that reach over 225 villages, covering a population of about 250,000 people. In order to address the second wave of COVID-19 and its effects on rural areas, the station is speaking with doctors from the local civil hospital and conducting regular interviews with them on virus variants, symptoms, the importance of vaccination, and double masking. To counter the grim scenario, the station team is also trying to highlight positive stories with listeners in collaboration with the district magistrate's office and public relations department on people recovered and people vaccinated. As there is a lot of vaccine hesitancy, to motivate others to be vaccinated, a new campaign titled “Vaccine Hero” was initiated by the station to feature people who have been vaccinated. In addition, the station is disseminating key messages on COVID-19 prevention every single hour including information on health facilities and relief aid available.


Our listeners share . . .

Rambir, village Bibipur: “Only 1-2% of the people in our village have got vaccinated. People still have their apprehensions regarding vaccines, however these are being gradually addressed with accurate information flowing from community radio.”

   

Articles

Community Radio reaches the unreached during the pandemic: Stories from Alfaz-e-Mewat

India’s 316-plus community radios as on March 2021 have shown immense power in disseminating information and at the same time fighting misinformation during the pandemic. In these trying times, community radios, one of the oldest forms of oral communication, have reached out to hard-to-reach populations with very little penetration of mainstream media and have effectively broadcasted the much needed information that is helping to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Read more . . .

Careers 

Job opening: Assistant Program Lead, Agriculture Development

Location: Alwar, Rajasthan

Apply by: June 20, 2021

News and Media

Listen to our Podcast

SMSF Connect Podcast features a bouquet of interesting programs about rural development and other social issues and themes.  TUNE IN to our podcast channel on I-RadioLive. Podcasts also available on Spotify

   

Join Us!

Sehgal Foundation invites interns to join us in promoting rural development by sharing their skills and experience for empowering people in rural areas. We are currently accepting select virtual internships due to COVID-19. See the list of projects available for virtual internships. Also see a video tutorial on Internships at Sehgal Foundation.

   

Editorial Team: Arti Manchanda Grover, Marly Cornell, Pooja O. Murada

Photo Credits: Sehgal Foundation staff

Design and Production: Outreach for Development team

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S M Sehgal Foundation | Plot No. 34, Sector 44, Institutional Area | | Gurugram, 122003, Haryana