Kudumbashree in the thick of COVID battle in Kerala

Its services range from contact tracing to managing help desks

For Kudumbashree members across the State, fighting COVID-19 is not just about manufacturing masks and sanitisers. The organised workforce of women contributes to several aspects of COVID management in the State, especially during the second wave of the pandemic.

Services of Kudumbashree range from arranging treatment centres in association with local bodies, providing pulse oximeters to the needy in every ward, to offering assistance to the public to connect with local bodies.

One of the biggest contributions of Kudumbashree is its ‘Janakeeya Hotels’ across the State. “Most local bodies arrange food for patients at FLTCs, SLTCs and for those in home quarantine through our Janakeeya Hotels as there are only a few community kitchens functional now,” said Kavitha.P.C, District Mission Coordinator of Kudumbashree in Kozhikode, adding that there were 103 Janakeeya Hotels providing meals at ₹20.

Kudumbashree members are undergoing an online training under the aegis of KILA and IMA on COVID management, so that they could pass it on to the grassroots level. Besides, the district mission offices have allocated manpower to local bodies for COVID management activities such as contact tracing, providing essential goods to those in quarantine and managing panchayat help desks. “Members are deployed for tasks based on their capability and educational background. We are trying to include as many people as possible in these activities,” Ms. Kavitha said. Besides its members, employees of Kudumbashree are also working as nodal officers for COVID management in local bodies.

Kudumbashree members in Kozhikode recently pooled together around ₹40 lakh and handed it over to the district administration to be used for the purchase of oxygen concentrators and pulse oximeters for COVID treatment centres in the district. This is in addition to the the ₹5 lakh contributed for the same purpose by the Community Development Societies in Kozhikode Corporation.

“We are doing our level best to assist the government in these hard times. But we are worried about our microfinance loans, which we are unable to clear in these circumstances, as we have no income,” Mr. Kavitha said, adding that members have been demanding a moratorium for loans at least for six months.

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