The Issue At CCIs Due To COVID-19
The entire world has been gripped by the COVID-19 outbreak, which has far-reaching consequences beyond the spread of the disease and risk to health. The pandemic will have enormous impact on the economy and livelihoods. Schools have closed which will impact education for billions of students. Sports and entertainment have been nearly shut down. Probably the most adverse and long-lasting impact may be on mental health. These impacts are being faced by all sections of society – the COVID crisis is probably the biggest challenge that mankind has ever faced in recent history.
At CSA, we are working with over 5000+ children residing in 90 Child Care Institutions (CCI’s) spread over four states in India. We also have nearly 200 young adults enrolled in our Aftercare program and another 150 alumni from the program.
We carried out a telephonic survey of 78 partner Child Care Institutions (CCI’s) in May 2020 to understand their needs, struggles, and how they are coping with the COVID-19 crisis. We want to share some of our findings with you.
The results of the survey broadly indicate that while district authorities have reached out to most CCIs with information around COVID, less than half of them have received support in cash or kind from the Government. As the economic crisis unfolds, it is expected that CCIs will see a rise in the number of children admitted. This, coupled with the fact that CCIs are likely to face a fund crunch, could make it difficult for them to provide quality care to children.
78% of our partner CCIs have not sent their children home. This is important because the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 would be greater in the community.
54% of all CCIs said they have not received support in cash or kind from the Government or Government partners. 25% CCIs have received cash support, and most of these are from the state of Odisha where the Government released special funds to CCIs towards COVID support. The rest received in-kind support mainly consisting of food and hygiene material.
50% CCIs are operating with fewer staff post lockdown. They have asked staff members residing outside CCI premises to stop coming until the situation improves. Most of these CCIs have said that they are finding it difficult to keep children engaged due to this. 35% other CCIs have all staff members residing within premises and hence are not facing this issue.
72% CCIs have said that their currently available funds can sustain their work for less than 6 months. 43 CCIs of the 78 CCIs (i.e. 55%) have said they do not receive any funding under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) from the Government
Our Response To COVID-19 – Health, Hygiene & Nutrition
- We have supplied soaps, hand sanitizers and face masks for all children at partner CCIs. Hand washing and other health precautions are being followed in the CCI’s. We continue to monitor the situation and replenish supplies from time to time.
- All CCI’s are following the lockdown protocols. No visitors or outsiders are allowed to enter the CCI premises.
- We have been monitoring the situation with respect to supplies of food. Most CCI’s are low on basic rations. Vegetables, fruits, milk etc. are also in short supply. We have been providing CCI’s with dry food rations and groceries through the generous support of our CSR partners –