These are the overall combat strategies for post-pandemic rehabilitation that Buzz Women will focus on –
1.Awareness creation and information sharing will take place on two levels – beneficiary and the ecosystem
a.There are a series of rights and entitlement schemes operational by the government (Central and State). In addition to that the government has announced COVID-19 specific schemes like Garib Kalyana Yojana. Buzz Women will help build mass awareness on the details of those schemes- eligibility, entitlement and application processes. We have already started doing this to the Gelathis over the phone as soon as the schemes were announced. We will make sure every woman in the Buzz ecosystem also receives relevant information.
b.Buzz Women has a strong grassroot presence that helps in collating information of crisis and help. The learnings from the ground will immediately be shared with the ecosystem.
2. Helping strengthen the capability of the existing Gelathis to actively be a part of the pandemic response process by adopting following measures under the guidance of Gelathi Facilitators-
a.This type of pandemic creates a lot of mental strain, anxiety and depression. Many people and families in rural India do not talk about mental illness let alone seek psycho-social support. The Gelathis will help and support individuals in the community to seek help if needed through various government support mechanisms.
b. Gelathis will facilitate and help individuals apply for the various government schemes and benefits. This will help Buzz Women leverage our current community structures towards COVID response and resilience.
3. Livelihood enhancement or diversification and market linkages
Since the country has seen a complete lockdown over the past few weeks, most families in rural villages have remained unemployed. This leads to a severe livelihood challenge for them. Buzz Women will focus on building resilient livelihood opportunities for low income women which can be sustained even if there is an economic shock. The Buzz program will assess the market needs and analyze it together with entrepreneurially inclined women. For women existing entrepreneurs, the program will help them diversify their income generating avenues, so that they have alternative pathways out of poverty as well as a mechanism for managing risks in an uncertain environment. This will in a limited manner and also help address the problem of acute liquidity crisis that will hit the marginalized the most.
4. Strengthening women networks and reducing their vulnerability
The government has announced that the women in self-help groups — about 63 lakh such groups — will get Rs 20 lakh in collateral-free loans. Buzz Women has a network of 15,000 SHGs. One of the biggest impacts that the organization can create is making them aware of the scheme and help them apply for it.