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NGO launches online platform ‘Covid relief service directory’

Panaji: With an idea to connect the needy people with the relief service providers in the country during the lockdown period, Anyay Rahit Zindagi (ARZ), an NGO from Goa has launched an online platform ‘Covid relief service directory’.

ARZ has appealed with relief service providers to register at http://covidrelief.in/ through which those in need of relief services can access services in their localities. Owing to the ongoing scenario in view lockdown due to Covid-19, relief service providers such as government agencies, NGO’s and also individuals have been providing relief services in different states of India. The relief services generally include ration, shelter, medical and counseling says ARZ. However in absence of centralised information about the relief service providers many people who are in need of relief services are unable to access the relief services said ARZ director Arun Pandey.

Speaking about the objective of developing the web portal, Pandey said that “the Covid relief service directory is an effort, to connect the person/family requiring relief services with the relief service providers, by providing information about the services at the block/taluka level”.

The directory will also help the sponsors/donors to have information about services and enable them to financially support relief services, said Pandey. He informed that with assistance from Indev consultancy, the web portal has been developed http://covidrelief.in/ to function as an online directory of Covid relief services in India.

 ARZ is involved in prevention, protection, and rehabilitation of the victims of commercial sexual exploitation in Goa. Explaining how they thought of coming up with such a portal, Pandey said that Manju Kumari (name changed), a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE), presently residing in Mumbai contacted ARZ social worker whom she had met at the government state protective home, Goa and shared that due to the lockdown she does not have money to buy ration.

She further shared that, she has been without food for few days. “Seeing the urgency, ARZ transferred money into her account, to enable her to buy ration. It was then decided to check with other survivors, who were rescued in Goa from CSE”, informed Pandey. In most of the cases it was found that, the survivors, based in different states of India, especially, who were residing in cities, were without ration, and had no money to purchase medicine, buy cylinder, pay rent, etc said Pandey.

Subsequently ARZ decided to connect the survivors with the relief service providers close to the survivor’s place of residence, but found that, it was a herculean task, especially, in absence of any centralised information about the relief service providers in India. “The experience of connecting the survivors with the local relief service providers, made us realise that there are many persons/families in India who are in need of relief services, and are unable to access the relief services, even though there are many government agencies, NGOs and individuals who are providing relief services in their area of residence”, informed Pandey. 

Pandey said that therefore, a need was felt to facilitate easy access of information about the service providers, to those in need of relief, to enable them to access relief services across the country.

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