Shabana Azmi’s Mijwan Welfare Society Steps Up COVID-19 Relief Work

Shabana Azmi's Mijwan Welfare Society is working round-the-clock carrying out Covid relief efforts.

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Shabana Azmi’s Mijwan Welfare Society Steps Up COVID-19 Relief Work
Legendary Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi founded an NGO, the Mijwan Welfare Society, (MWS) in 1993. 28 years later, Kaifi Saab’s daughter Shabana Azmi carries  on the legacy. The Mijwan  Welfare Society is working  round-the-clock carrying out Covid relief efforts.

Says Shabana, “We are facilitating COVID vaccination in remote villages. Facilitation here includes  sharing information on COVID vaccination and breaking myths and rumors about vaccination, registration support on COVID vaccination on COWIN, c) guidance and assistance on COVID vaccination centers, transport support to those who cannot afford or are not able to move because of physical movement issue or for elderly poor ,coordination with local health authorities for vaccination, follow-up with those received the  first dose and then remind for the second dose.”

The MWS is  also distributing dry ration  to those who have lost their livelihood or have challenges with ensuring food for their families

Says Shabana, “We are  providing dry ration support for 6 months to families who have lost their key bread earner.We also  provide livelihood support by  sharing information on local livelihood opportunities.We collect information on local jobs and share it with communities through our Rozgar Dhaba.

IN addition  the MWS provides assistance and guidance on making or corrections of documents like Adhaar card, pan card, opening bank account, ration card, labour card and this helps the eligible community to avail different government schemes.

“We are informing communities on different COVID related government programs and schemes and assisting them in applying for it.Distributing  sanitary pads to the women groups. Registering migrants at our Rozgar Dhaba, making three-layer cloth masks-this generates employment for local artisans (especially women) and distributing it to the communities. We have distributed nearly 100000 cotton masks,” informs Shabana.

The issue of  mental health,  post-pandemic trauma also looms large.

Says Shabana, "Regarding mental health, of course  it is a  major  issue.But our focus is on ensuring  livelihood. So we at present are not engaged in mental health directly, but indirectly supporting families through livelihood helps many families to cope with the COVID challenges and those of survival. Challenge with us is our work is in remote villages of Uttar  Pradesh and Bihar and staff rarely want to go there and connecting virtually is not that effective."

Shabana sees  a  long struggle ahead. “This  is nothing.So much more  needs  to be  done. Every effort  counts. Rather than talking  about what’s been done, we  should all be out there doing as  much as we can,” Shabana signs off.

Image source: SpotboyE archive
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