IDRF’s Development Programs in India during the COVID-19 Pandemic

IDRF’s Development Programs in India during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Even during these challenging times, our hard-working and dedicated NGO-partners in India have been working hard to continue or modify their programs to help the poor and needy!

COVID-19 Awareness and Relief Efforts in the slums of Aurangabad

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Vaidyakiya Pratishthan Trust, Maharashtra

Even during the complete lockdown, IDRF-supported Mobile Medical Clinic in partnership withDr. Ambedkar Vaidyakiya Pratishthan was actively involved in providing OPD services, COVID awareness, and relief to the needy at their doorsteps. In 13 locations around the slums of Aurangabad food packets and grocery, kits were distributed and COVID-19 awareness and relief programs were conducted benefitting thousands of slum-dwellers. The doctors and health staff of the mobile clinic take the utmost precautions like wearing PPEs and following all safety measures while rendering the services.

For more program details:

Providing nutritious meals to severely malnourished children during the Pandemic
Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, Arunachal Pradesh

Even during the pandemic lockdown, IDRF and partner-Vivekananda Kendra are working hard to continue providing nutritious meals to severely malnourished children in the remote hilly areas. During the complete lockdown, our partner team was unable to operate the centers where they prepare the meals for distribution to the children. However, the team determined to provide meals to these children, started supplying dry (uncooked) food items on foot to the hamlets where these children lived so that their parents could feed them the meals during the lockdown. The local transporters also extended their help to the team for this noble cause!  More than 510 severely malnourished children living in the remote hilly areas are benefitting as a result.

For more program details:

Medical Center providing OPD and Pathological Laboratory services to the rural poor

Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, Assam

To provide quality health care at a very affordable cost to the poor patients, in 2019, we established a charitable Medical Center with an OPD and Pathological Laboratory in partnership with-Vivekananda Kendra in Laipuli village of Tinsukia district, Assam. IDRF funded the completion of the first phase of construction in June 2019. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical and other staff at the medical center follow all mandatory safety guidelines and continue to serve the medical needs of the poor patients from the nearby villages. In June 2020, after one year of the inauguration of this medical center, 5110 patients were treated and 1008 pathological tests conducted.

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Women’s Self-Help Groups Spread Awareness and Relief during the Pandemic

Arpana Research and Charities Trust, Haryana

As soon as the lockdown started, IDRF’s partner-Arpana’s workers started conducting telephone sessions to inform over 12,000 women members of 100 Self-Help Groups about COVID-19: symptoms and precautions such as social distancing, hand washing, wearing masks, etc. These Self-Help Group members in turn started spreading the awareness in their respective villages.  These members encouraged and helped in the sanitization of their villages along with their Panchayats. The women also made sure that the poor migrant laborer families in their villages got food and groceries during the lockdown. 500 women from 100 villages volunteered to become the liaison between the government officials and the villagers in the fight against coronavirus.

For more program details:

COVID-19 Awareness Training of Mahila Sangathan Members

SM Sehgal Foundation, Rajasthan

During the pandemic, training programs for women’s groups were organized in 47 villages in Ajmer. The objective of the program supported by IDRF was to create awareness about Coronavirus among the participants, DIY mask making, and distribution of masks to all the group members. Apart from the women trained in the Mahila Sangathan groups, other women from the villages were also encouraged to participate in the training. About 1,023 face masks were distributed among the members and banners were also used in the villages to spread awareness about the safety measures.

For more program information:

IDRF Hostel Girls’ “Art of Survival” during the pandemic lockdown

Shiksha Bharati, Uttar Pradesh

IDRF provides free education, board, and lodging to underprivileged tribal girls from North-east India at the IDRF-supported hostel on the campus of Shiksha Bharati’s accredited High School in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh. At present 88 girls are residing at IDRF-Hostel (Grade-6th to 12th). 

When a complete lockdown in India was implemented on March 24, 2020, the girls residing at the hostel in partner Shiksha Bharati’s school in Hapur decided to not travel to their homes but rather stay together and quarantine at the hostel itself.   These girls showcased discipline, and motivation and utilized this time as an opportunity to develop extra-curricular skills. They created a schedule that would allow them to not only function during the quarantine but also thrive. Yoga and meditation became a mandatory part of their daily routine. The older girls took care of the younger girls and helped them with their online classes and homework. All the girls were engaged in a lot of activities such as playing sports, learning languages, singing, learning to play instruments, folk-dancing, painting, cooking, and gardening, etc.

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Excellent Performance by the IDRF hostel girls in the Annual Board Exams 2020!

The school classes and annual board exams were postponed due to the lockdown in the country. However, the IDRF-Hostel girls were still able to pass the Board exams for classes 10th and 12th with flying colors! While the girls studied hard for the exams, they would not have been able to attend the school and unlock the tremendous potential without our donors’ unstinting financial support.

IDRF is continuing to provide financial support for the higher education of the students which will help make these girls financially independent and lead a life of dignity and self-respect. Six of the class XII girls have started graduate programs at Banasthali University (Rajasthan) and one is studying Nursing in her hometown.

Online fun learning activities for children during the lockdown

Swa-Roopwardhinee, Maharashtra

IDRF supports Swa-Roopwardhini in running 16 Integrated Child Development Centers in various parts of Pune, wherein 800+ academically bright students from deprived sections of the society participate for 3 hours each day. To keep children motivated and engaged during the COVID-19 lockdown, the volunteers developed many interesting online programs like early morning yoga, word puzzles, study sessions, competitions to encourage children to help parents in keeping the house clean, teaching cooking skills, daily diary, arts and crafts actives, elocution and storytelling competitions, etc.

For more program information:

School lessons on Whatsapp for poor rural children

Vidhya Bharati Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Sansthan, Uttar Pradesh

IDRF and partner Vidya Bharati support a school for poor rural children in rural Ghaziabad about 15 miles from Delhi. The school provides affordable modern education to 417 children from poor families and about 20% of them are from extremely poor families who can’t even afford the nominal fees and school supplies. The hardworking and dedicated staff of SKKS Saraswati Vidya Mandir have been conducting online classes during the lockdown for the students through the Whatsapp platform.

Online training programs for teachers to provide computer literacy to underserved children

Computer Shiksha, Operating in over 15 states of India
Computer Shiksha, our partner who provides free computer literacy to underprivileged students in over 15 states of India, has been able to complete the online training programs with School Leaderships through Zoom in 34 schools in Pune (Maharashtra) and 49 schools in Sikar (Rajasthan). Computers for these new participating schools are refurbished and prepared and will be shipped to them once they open up!

For more program details:

Safe Drinking Water and Employment to villagers during the pandemic 

Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society, Tamil Nadu

IDRF and partner Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society (SVRDS) de-silted 7 ponds over May and June 2020 in the villages of Ranipet, Thiruvallur, and Chengalpattu districts to provide safe water for drinking and household consumption through Rain Water Harvesting to 18,500 villagers. These ponds were choked with silt and weed and water was unsuitable for human consumption. During the desilting process, the debris was dug up and pond bunds were strengthened by planting tree saplings in them. SVRDS was also able to employ some of the needy villagers during these difficult times in helping with the de-siltation process. During monsoons, it is expected that the pond will be filled with water.

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Generating MANERGA work demand and providing sustainable water resources

Samerth Charitable Trust, Gujarat

120 families of Davri village in Kutch district, can access safe and clean drinking water even in the summer months. During the pandemic, the Indian government announced that people could access MGNREGA work for creating livelihoods in the rural areas.  The dug well and the pond was restored by our partner-Samerth Trust with IDRF’s help under MGNREGA and provided livelihood to local struggling families.

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Learning and livelihood training centers for migrant worker families

Samerth Charitable Trust, Chhattisgarh

At the beginning of the lockdown, Samerth collaborated with the District Administration of Raipur in setting up a shelter house for migrant worker families. These people were suddenly left with meager sources of income and were struggling for survival. With support from IDRF and other partners, Samerth arranged for meals for the struggling families and also set up a learning center for children along with offering livelihood training to the resident migrants at the shelter home.

Putting “smiles” on the faces during the pandemic!

Manav Seva Sansthan “Seva”, Kerala

Amid Covid-19 lockdown, IDRF and our partner-Manav Seva Sansthan helped provide new houses to 10 poor families whose houses were destroyed due to floods and landslides in Wayanad, Kerala due to heavy monsoon rains last year.

For more details about the program:

“Grab and Go” Food Distribution Events

IDRF joins hands with the Indian-American Organisations and Community of DC Metro Area to help needy families during the COVID-19 Pandemic

September 2020

Grab & Go event to distribute 9,000 lbs of fresh produce and non-perishable groceries to more than 260 families by IDRF in partnership with Rajasthali DC, Germantown HELP, MCPS, and  Journey’s Crossing Church on September 19, 2020, at Germantown, Maryland. 

August 2020

Grab & Go event to distribute 587 bags of fresh groceries by IDRF in partnership with DC Dream Center, Blessings of Hope, and Breadcoin at Pennsylvania Baptist Church in Washington DC on August 31, 2020.  

Grab & Go event to distribute fresh groceries to 280 families by IDRF in partnership with Rajasthali Association of Washington DC, Germantown HELP, MCPS, and Neelsville Presbyterian Church was organized in Germantown, MD on Saturday, August 15th. 

Montgomery County Council, Maryland’s VP-Tom Hucker awarded citations to IDRF and partners on India’s 74th Independence Day for their commendable relief work done to serve the multi-cultural and diverse communities in the DC Metro area during these challenging times. 

Grab & Go event to distribute 500 bags of fresh groceries by IDRF in partnership with DC Dream Center, Blessings of Hope and Breadcoin at Pennsylvania Baptist Church in Washington DC on August 3.

July 2020

Grab & Go event to distribute 250 free food bags by IDRF and Rajasthali Association in partnership with Germantown HELP and MCPS on July 18 at Journey’s Crossing Church, Germantown.
Grab & Go event to distribute groceries to 580 families by IDRF and ADG in conjunction and support from other partners on July 11 at Astha Adult care center, Silver Spring, MD.

JUNE 2020

“Grab and Go Food Drive” to provide relief to 750 struggling families of Montgomery County, Maryland
on June 14, 2020, at the Mangal Mandir, Silver Spring, MD
“Grab and Go Food Drive” to provide relief to 600 struggling families of Montgomery County  on June 13, 2020, at Montgomery College, Germantown, MD
“Grab and Go Food Drive” to provide relief to 600 struggling families of Montgomery County, Maryland
on June 7, 2020, at the Mangal Mandir, Silver Spring, MD
“Grab and Go Food Drive” to provide relief to 1260 struggling families of Montgomery County, Maryland
on May 23, 2020, at the Aastha Adult Medical Care, Silver Spring, MD
“Grab and Go Food Drive” to provide relief to 600 struggling families of Fairfax County, Virginia
on June 6, 2020, at the Durga Temple, 8400 Durga Pl, Fairfax Station, VA

MAY 2020

“Grab and Go Food Drive” to provide relief to 1140 struggling families of Montgomery County, Maryland
on May 30, 2020, at the Aastha Adult Medical Care, Silver Spring, MD
“Grab and Go Food Drive” to provide relief to 1140 struggling families of Montgomery County, Maryland
on May 23, 2020, at the Aastha Adult Medical Care, Silver Spring, MD
“Grab and Go Food Drive” to provide relief to 600 struggling families of Prince George’s County, Maryland
on May 9, 2020, at the Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Lanham, MD
Covid-19 Relief campaign for India

Covid-19 Relief campaign for India

As a result of the pandemic, the extent of hunger and misery is widespread and millions of families are struggling to meet ends. Please support these hard-hit poor families in India by making a tax-deductible donation today! (Select Designation: COVID-19 Relief- India)  DONATE TODAY 

NGO: Computer Shiksha


Computer Shiksha is a non-profit organization that was founded by corporate leaders in 2012 to bridge digital divide in India. The skills and experience of the founders has led the NGO to provide free but quality computer literacy programs spread over 55 weeks curriculum to underserved children attending the government and municipality schools.    

IDRF Partner Since: 2018 

Focus Area: Education

Location: Learning centers in 14 states

Project Title: Computer literacy and digital skills for the underprivileged children


In today’s world of rapid developments in technology, there are still hundreds and thousands of marginalized in India that neither have access nor afford computer literacy and skills to better their lives. The government schemes are mostly available online, which people from under-served communities are unable to access. IDRF is funding to continue a unique program in partnership with Computer Shiksha to impart free and quality computer knowledge and skills to the underprivileged children, who can use technology for the betterment of their lives in every possible way.

The computer literacy program began in April 2013, with just 15 laptops-taken in a vehicle to 60 poor school-going children to train them in the beginners level course (31 to 62 weeks), followed by advanced level course (24 weeks).

The success and popularity of this program led to the implementation of Stage-2 in April 2016. The partner schools are provided with refurbished computers to conduct classes using course content (in multiple languages), self-learning videos, teachers’ manuals, hardware and upkeep. The classes are monitored live on internet and students are evaluated periodically for certification. The NGO also delivers computer education to poor students pursuing higher education. Currently 94,300+ students in 14 states of India are availing of these computer classes at 485 schools. Another great benefit of the program is that the IT infrastructure laid can be used by multiple organizations to impart various kinds of learning modules in future.

IDRF partner provides lifetime maintenance support for all hardware and software through trained manpower and a helpline. The success of this program has led to requests for the expansion of this model to other countries like: Ghana, Nigeria and Barbados, etc.

Please click on the link to learn more about Computer Shiksha

Students attending a computer class at Gyanodaya Bal Adarsh Patshala
Young kids enjoy learning computers