The Covid-19 pandemic has emerged as a huge nation-wide challenge for communities across all levels. To offer ease and comfort during this hour of crisis, Axis Bank has been offering all possible banking support and services to the citizens of India. While the Bank has been providing an array of banking solutions to its customers, Axis Bank Foundation (ABF) under its core theme ‘Sustainable Livelihood’ has reached out to close to 20000 families of the state, with a focus on enhancing livelihood opportunities for the marginalised communities and building resilience to manage uncertainties. This is done by leveraging on various welfare schemes of the central and state governments and in partnership with NGOs like Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India) (AKRSPI), Nav Bharat Jagruti Kendra and Don Bosco Tech Society.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in different sets of challenges that impacted the lives and livelihoods of the rural poor. ABF was quick to respond to the emerging needs of the communities.
Some of the initiatives undertaken by ABF are –
Support to farmers – Provided storage kits to farmers who have a good Rabi yield and need proper storage till the markets open. Door-to-door vegetable marketing through producer groups has also been enabled supporting both the producer and the consumer.
Support to Quarantine Centres – Quarantine centers were created in schools and Panchayats for workers, who were working in other geographies. The centres were equipped with sanitizers, beds, drinking water, food supplies and all other basic facilities for use by quarantined people.
Awareness Campaign – People were sensitized about maintaining hygiene and discipline through WhatsApp groups, awareness videos, wall paintings and pamphlets. Regular announcements/recorded jingles were played on speakers in auto rickshaws/ tempos on the importance of using hand sanitizers, washing hands regularly, using masks and maintaining social distance.
Distribution of sanitation kits – PPE kits consisting of masks, gloves, soap, hand sanitizer etc. were provided to the frontline workers eg. health workers, police, functionaries at Gram Panchayat level and community leaders. The production of masks was initiated locally to ensure steady supply.
Distribution of dry ration – Ration kits comprising of flour, dal, rice, sugar, tea, masala and oil were distributed to the rural households.
Commenting on ABF’s contribution towards relief measures, Mr. Jacob Ninan, ET & CEO, Axis Bank Foundation said, ‘’The pandemic has created a huge chaos in everyone’s life. Rural poor in States like Bihar are facing the brunt of it.The influx of migrants has added to the problem. ABF is working with it’s NGO partners equip the people at the bottom of the pyramid to deal with the situation better. As a responsible corporate organization, we have taken few small steps to provide for a better standard of living to these deprived communities. We remain committed to increase our work in the State of Bihar.’’
ABF will continue to work closely with its NGO partners to enable the rural communities in meeting livelihood challenges that will emerge owing to the pandemic.
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