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  Social Responsibility

Skill Development
Published on: June 6, 2020, 9:26 p.m.
Foundation with foresight
  • Self-help groups in Satara have been stitching masks

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India

ukul Madhav Foundation (MMF) is providing wholehearted support to its beneficiaries - old people, HIV-afflicted women, mobile teachers, authorities, parents, and systems – according to its managing trustee Ritu Prakash Chhabria. “All of them have been an integral part of carrying out these activities and initiatives and need support during the various stages of the lockdown,” she says. “MMF’s volunteers have been silently supporting us in this mission.”

With the Pune-headquartered Finolex Industries Ltd (FIL), of which MMF is the CSR partner, the Foundation took the initiative to formulate a strategy of pre-preparedness much before WHO announced Covid-19 as a global pandemic. This strategy, spurred by the unfolding events in China at the end of 2019, was developed in close consultation with local hospitals, doctors who have been associated with the Foundation, para-medical partners, and others with relevant experience.

MMF foresaw the increase in the need for masks and approached various organisations which could contribute towards this requirement. The Family Planning Association of India, which provides livelihoods to HIV+ women in Pune, and local women’s self-help groups in Satara – where the Foundation is active - were approached to make these masks. This effort was mirrored in MMF’s at the Skill Development Centres at Masar near Vadodara in Gujarat and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, where FIL has manufacturing facilities.

All this has created an opportunity for these women and has enabled them to earn additional money to contribute towards their family incomes. Punyadham Ashram on the outskirts of Pune, which houses senior citizens, also voluntarily began making masks and supporting the needs of the police force, the government-run Sassoon General Hospital and MMF.

Another prong in the strategy was to survey the known network of hospitals assigned to admit Covid patients and ascertain their immediate needs. MMF responded to appeals from The Red Cross Society, three government hospitals – Sassoon, KEM and Naidu – as well as a number of private hospitals. It has given them ventilators, gloves, PPE suits, masks, sanitisers, disinfectants, and face shields, too.

In collaboration with a startup, Scitech Airon, negative-ion generators to purify the air are being donated to these hospitals and police stations.

Another collaboration, with online crowd funding portal KETTO, supported 4,000-plus families of daily-wage earners who lost their jobs. MMF partnered with half a dozen like-minded institutes/volunteers to carry out the assembling, distribution of goods and support the end beneficiaries.

MMF, established in 1999 as a public charitable trust, has a range of charitable activities in healthcare, social welfare, and education. Its collaboration with FIL since 2014 has strengthened and increased its work in water conservation, social welfare and sanitation. One of its pathbreaking projects was the construction of a 59-bed state-of-the-art neo-natal intensive care unit at Sassoon, while it also provides medical and financial assistance to the less fortunate who need various surgeries and rehabilitation.

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