NGOs and their critical role in the COVID-19 crisis

Your support through donations is crucial in this mission

NGOs or non-governmental organisations are actively involved in combating various socio-economic issues. They include relief agencies, charities and community organisations, tackle countless challenges related to the environment, education, health, poverty, women empowerment, child protection, social justice, human rights, relief work and much more. Also referred to as nonprofits, these organisations in India work independently, in cooperation with the government or in partnership with national or international organisations. 

Though India has always had a tradition of social service and volunteering, NGOs formally emerged after Independence when voluntary agencies were set up to work with the government on social as well as economic issues. These agencies have since worked for the betterment of the weaker social groups and disadvantaged communities including the rural poor, tribals, displaced, children etc at a micro-level with limited resources. 

Impact of nonprofits

Nonprofits saw another growth stage in the 1960s when it was noticed that government programmes alone would not suffice for development. Grassroots level groups were needed to uplift the discriminated and deprived sections of Indian society and undertake problem-solving at a quicker pace with better reach.

Photo courtesy: Smile Always

Today, there are over 3 million NGOs working in a variety of fields ranging from disaster relief to advocacy for marginalised sections and play an important role in bringing social transformation. Since nonprofits are voluntary in nature, they depend on donations by individuals, funding by firms through CSR, aid from government agencies, etc to fuel their missions. Their work is critical in helping India fight discrimination, poverty, illiteracy, disasters, pandemics and more.

In the ongoing scenario where India is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, NGOs across the country are working relentlessly to combat the situation. The lockdowns that followed the pandemic have created an economic crisis on top of a public health emergency. It has taken away the livelihoods of many and put them in dire straits unable to afford food or essential Covid related hygiene items such as soaps, masks, sanitizers, etc. 

Appeal for help in fight against Coronavirus

The Indian government also appealed to nearly 92,000 NGOs for assistance in identifying the Coronavirus hotspots and providing critical services to vulnerable groups of people including the elderly and children, persons with disabilities, transgender persons, the homeless, daily wage workers, migrant workers and urban poor families. 

Photo courtesy: The Akshaya Patra Foundation

With lockdowns in every state being slowly lifted, and the number of cases and deaths spiking, containing the virus has become even more critical. While NGOs in every region have been tirelessly working on the ground to provide food, rations and hygiene kits to the poor,  they are also performing the important task of creating awareness about the virus and preventing its spread, educating people on social distancing, helping to combat the stigma, providing shelter and setting up community kitchens for those in need.

Your donations are needed now more than ever to help such organizations deliver humanitarian aid. The greatest gift to our community and country right now is a contribution, no matter how small. You can make a donation to any one of our Covid missions on our website.

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1 thought on “NGOs and their critical role in the COVID-19 crisis

  1. Hi Samar Hafeez,
    I loved your blog post. What you wrote was worthwhile and making a difference. In a matter of mere weeks, COVID-19 has wiped out global gains and taken its toll on almost every aspect of society. It’s difficult time for everyone and more difficult for low-income families.
    Even we at Prayaas Corps are trying to reach the needy. We have helped 40 families at Mansarovar with dry ration kits through our Emergency Relief service during this pandemic. Do check us out.

    Thanks again for writing this blog. It will encourage many to serve the nation in difficult times of Coronavirus.

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