How a network of rural entrepreneurs was supported by global partners to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in rural India.
COVID-19 has impacted every corner of the world. With more developed areas like cities, struggling to cope even with their existing infrastructure and support, rural areas are being hit hardest
Necessary government actions, such as lockdowns, have hit business and households hard.
Fake information and news have also spread due to panic and uncertainty
Dharma Life Labs interviewed a number of the 139 million
internal migrant workers to learn about their displacement
due to lockdowns across the country…
“... work had stopped and they locked us up in a room. We had to call the police to make them let us go. Then we walked for days with limited food just to get home.”
- Migrant Worker, Bihar
16,000 DLEs who are often seen as community leaders and are willing to help
A combination of purpose-built tech and public tools that allow implementation at scale
A global group of corporates, foundations, governments, academics, multilaterals and more
Real-time, two-way communication (e.g. through WhatsApp). Messages cover: Urgent COVID-Response, Behaviour change for aiding recovery, Building resilience
Analyze challenges at a hyperlocal/human level & monitor activity impact. Use insights to design and iterate and disseminate programs
Map demand and supply in villages and use existing DL distribution infrastructure to deliver and collect essential goods
Enable access to skills needed to survive and thrive. Provide access and guidance to securing means of livelihood to build resilience and future response capacity
DLEs who have left the house increased from 14% to 43% from April to September. Most are buying food, working or visiting family.
"During lockdown, there was more difficulty as the availability of things and essentials were not easily available. Affluent and large size landholders help out the laborers whilst a barter system exists for excess produce."
5% of rural retailers are closed permanently and 20% of rural retailers are closed temporarily during COVID-19
"Even before lockdown, we were overburdened with work. I plan to find work in my village now.”
A striking digital media campaign to teach COVID-19 preventative measures
Total # of whatsapp groups
A participatory art campaign to build collective unity
Total # of beneficiaries reached