‘Arpan’, a Mumbai-based NGO, has recently been chosen as one of ‘India’s Top 50 Covid-19 Last Mile Responders‘ by the World Economic Forum and Schwab Foundation for its contribution towards Covid Relief. Regional Hosts include Aavishkaar Group, Sankalp Forum and Catalyst 2030.
Early 2020 marked the onset of the unprecedented pandemic in India. At a time when millions of people and vulnerable communities were at risk of being left behind, and where existing support systems had been stretched, Arpan stepped up to respond to the emergency.
Since the very start of the pandemic, Arpan began contributing towards essential grocery kits for individuals and families affected as a result of extended lock-downs, loss of jobs and mobility restrictions. Through these initiatives, Arpan distributed over 12,200 units grocery kits totalling to 184 tonnes that has reached over 61,000 beneficiaries residing in the most marginalised communities in Mumbai. As the second wave hit the city, 20 oxygen concentrators and other medical equipment were provided to Government and private hospitals.
These trying times have led to elevated levels of stress, panic and anxiety. Recognising the urgent need to also support people’s mental and emotional well-being, Arpan has extended its counselling and therapeutic support entirely free of cost and beyond issues related to Child Sexual Abuse. These include chat-based and phone-based counselling across platforms, regular dissemination of parenting and mental healthcare resources through mass media communication, conducting self-care sessions with partner organisations and conducting webinars and online talks for building awareness. These efforts have helped us provide mental-health support to over 4,400 people.
” Arpan has been addressing the issue of Child Sexual Abuse for 15 years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us to go beyond our core expertise and respond to what, we now know, as the largest humanitarian crisis of our time. I feel very proud that my team was swift to respond and has been able to provide some of the most marginalised families with groceries. I would also like to appreciate and thank all our partners on ground who helped with the distribution. It’s commendable how our large team of counsellors and therapists expanded their capacities to address mental health problems, which I think has been the need of the hour.” said Pooja Taparia, Founder & CEO of Arpan, speaking of their Covid Relief work. She further added, “Among all the hardships and loss it’s very humbling to know that our efforts are visible and appreciated. This honour from the World Economic Forum means a huge motivation for the team to continue with their efforts!”.
Other Mumbai-based organisations that feature in the list of India’s Top 50 Covid-19 Last Mile Responders include Armman, Adhyayan Foundation, Antarang Foundation, Doctors For You and Back The Frontline Initiative by Dasra. Along with the World Economic Forum.