2 Sakhis in Dadri went the extra mile during the pandemic lockdown to help combat COVID-19 and continue promoting other health issues among women. Armed with only mobile phones and a fire in the belly, Sashi Devi and Sudha Kumari embraced ‘digital’ to connect with over 9000 community members.
Sakhi Sashi, who acted as ACF’s Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for her community, harnessed the flipbook platform to spread awareness messages about COVID-19 via WhatsApp and, post lockdown, personally went door to door in her community and engaged with over 500 people.
On hearing of her work, the district level Health Department asked her to educate Anganwadi workers who could then go forth and create awareness. She coordinated a Zoom workshop on her phone for over 50 Anganwadi workers across 12 villages who went on to educate and impact 47,000 people in the district.
When Community Member Komal went into labour in the middle of the 2020 pandemic lockdown, she called Sakhi Sudha Kumari for help. Due to COVID-19 lockdown, her family was against going for institutional delivery, but Komal knew the risks and together with Sudha, began walking 12 kms to the nearest hospital – eventually being rescued by the ACF Mobile Medical Van and delivering a bouncing baby safely.
This is the commitment of Sudha who went above and beyond to ensure pregnant and lactating mothers were not alone at this critical time. Harnessing the power of digital, she created a WhatsApp group covering over 125 households in her community, along with 3 Anganwadi Workers, 2 ASHAs and the local ANM (Auxillary Nurse Midwife) – sending regular health messages and key information to support them in their journey to motherhood.
In an effort to combat malnutrition which was a big problem in the community, Sudha (who was also a SPOC) forged ahead in mobilising parents on WhatsApp, advising them on nutrition, medicines and cooking techniques to ensure their children remained healthy. It was critical that children did not fall through the gaps merely due to lockdown, and Sudha ensured this was not the case.
These inspiring women were lauded by their communities, and have paved the way forward towards ‘Digital India’ – proving that not even a pandemic could stop them in their mission to keep villagers healthy!
- 146 Sakhis
- 3533 SPOCs
- 294 educational messages disseminated in Dadri
- 97% institutional delivery across locations
- 3658 children reached through Malnutrition Programme