India is already dealing with Covid19 and the crisis is getting worst through its exponential growth and crisis is so bad that the whole country is almost standing still and human lives are badly affected with people having no food, job, health facilities, and proper medicines. The total number of positive cases and the number of Deaths are 106475 and 3302 respectively. In Odisha itself there are 978 Covid19 cases so far with new cases are coming out daily. In addition to the Covid19 crisis, the state of Odisha is going to witness one of severe cyclonic storm Amphan 2020 which will possibly affect all the coastal districts of Odisha and may result in severe devastations to normal lives of the coastal population
In lieu of the vulnerability of women and children, prior experiences reflect that response to the cyclone has not been an effective response to the needs of unseen loss to the life, health, shelter of women, and children in large.
Looking into the major shift of public health and food systems in responding to the COVID-19 crisis has increased risk on the lives of women, children, and the elderly from vulnerable sections as their basic needs related to health, hygiene, and nutrition are being neglected. The main reason for this risk is because most of the vulnerable population largely depends on public health and food facilities from the hamlet level to the District level.
This risk related to Cyclone Amphan additionally leads to a state where lactating mothers, newborn babies, children up to the age of 6 years, and women are in serious danger in shortage of Nutritional food supply, Immunisation, prenatal and postnatal care of newborn babies and lactating mothers and pregnant women. National Disaster Management Act 2005, National Disaster Management Plan 2016, and Osdma act also makes it mandatory to protect the Children and Women in any disaster condition as they are one of the most vulnerable communities.https://ndma.gov.in/images/policyplan/dmplan/National%20Disaster%20Management%20Plan%20May%202016.pdf
In the above context, we appeal for following actions and steps to be taken for the protection of women and children during Amphan Response
- Special focus to shift women and children to cyclone shelters and other safe places
- Admit all the pregnant women to the government hospitals to avoid any fatalities
- Provision of Immediate nutritional food supply to pregnant women, lactating mothers, and Children below 6 years
- A special provision of Food supply for the Next 2 months to Single women headed families.
- provision of Special Hygiene kits to women.
- Provision of Recreational activities for children at Cyclone shelter and other shelters
- Provision of Mask and other safety kits to the people residing in Cyclone Shelters.
- Psychosocial counseling facilities for children and women in cyclone shelters
- Training of relief and response personal to handle the issue related to women and children
- Special emergency helpline for women and children
Save Mother and Childhood Campaign (SMCC)
( SMCC is A network of grassroots organizations, academicians, community volunteers and health workers working especially for the wellbeing of children and women from marginalized communities of Daily Wagers, Sharecroppers, Single women, Brick Klin workers, Dalits and Tribals in coastal Odisha in order to overcome COVID-19 and Amphan crisis.)