COVID-19 Impact Stories from the ground! - United Way India

COVID-19 Impact Stories from the ground!

COVID-19 Impact Stories from the ground! 150 150 United Way India


The spread of novel coronavirus in India has quickened in the past few days with new cases of coronavirus. The epidemic has expanded its footprints in the country, affecting more than two hundred thousand people, India stands fifth among the nation’s worst hit by COVID-19 pandemic. To fight against COVID-19, United Way Bengaluru exhibited dedication towards immediate response as the team is on the frontlines supporting public health officials and community organizations.

United Way Bengaluru’s response aimed at enabling supplies of grocery kits to feed needy people for 21 days, hygiene kits with masks and soap, PPE kits for the hospital staff, testing kits for the patients, oxygen ventilators to aid the struggling health care system, thermal scanners, floor disinfectants, and nebulizers. The team is also working to spread awareness in the local languages with a special focus on Anganwadi workers, mothers, migrant communities, and old people who are at higher risk.

This pandemic has made a huge impact on the availability and accessibility of food and healthcare services. Since the first phase of lockdown, United Way Bengaluru impacted 761,830 lives by reaching out to people with ration kits and other essential commodities. 192650 triple layer masks, 33000 hygiene kits, 1310 bottles of and sanitizers, 4500 COVID testing kits, 6660 PPE kits have been provided to the health care centers and hospitals so far by United Way Bengaluru.

The team faces many challenges during the relief efforts; one of the major concerns is maintaining social distancing. With the utmost precautions and social distancing in mind, the team continues to help those who would have withered away unless United Way Bengaluru’s team stepped in to pull them out of these dark times.


With India living under a strict lockdown, people are struggling to keep their work afloat. With novel protocols like social distancing and stay home restrictions, E- Volunteering has become the new norm across the CSR space among the corporates. A session plan was chartered by United Way of Hyderabad with time slots and circulated to the corporates who wanted to avail of this opportunity. These sessions were conducted for the Children’s Homes and Orphanages that we work with.

Volunteers spent extensive amounts of time motivating the students to explore creativity and learn new things. Sessions were conducted on a wide range of topics including Scholarships, Mentorship, Career Counselling, English Language skills, Life Skills, Health, Zumba, Entertainment, Quizzes, and many competitions.

With the support of more than five corporates until now, Qualcomm, Bank of America, State Street, etc. we have impacted 1733 beneficiaries and clocking 35.05 hrs of online sessions with a total of 1962.15 beneficiary hours. Furthermore, in partnership with Janyaa Foundation supported POLYCET training and Online sessions for Class 10 S.S.C students. An aggregate of 852 students from 57 schools have enrolled for these sessions and a total of 52.2 hours has been spent on coaching so far.

“In the current situation, it is vital to stay digitally connected – connected to each other, our communities. Thanks to United Way Hyderabad for doing the commendable job through their E-volunteering program, it is surely helping us to bridge the gap between schools and home”, says Mr. Gulshan Kumar Sachdev, Chairman of United Way India.


As the number of cases in India continues to grow, people are encouraging social distancing to slow the rate of transmission. The goal of this practice is to flatten the curve of a new infection, but we cannot avoid a surge of demand on the health care system. As the effects of physical distancing may take weeks to appear, here at United Way India we aim to provide immediate care and support in the situation of calamities.

In a country of 1.3 billion people, India has only 40,000+ ventilators. Health ministries all over the world face the same dreadful equation of ventilator shortage as the pandemic rages on. With the rising number of COVID-19 patients, United Way Chennai decided to help reduce the acute shortage by raising funds to the tune of INR 1.3 Cr. (USD 175000), through which UWChennai is supporting the government to mitigate the ventilator shortage for COVID-19 patients in Chennai. These funds were used not only to procure ventilators but also other necessary medical equipment like patient monitors, PPE kits for hospitals in Chennai. The team also involved young students in schools & colleges to help spread awareness and raise funds for the cause. Furthermore, UWChennai provided financial relief to 24 differently-abled self-employed entrepreneurs.

As a result, UWChennai purchased and installed 8 ventilators, 2000+PPE kits, and provided 9 patient monitors to the hospitals of Chennai.

Since disability is one of the primary focus areas, last year, UWChennai empowered 24 differently-abled individuals to become entrepreneurs by setting up bunk shops for them. However, due to the lockdown, their shops are closed and therefore, the only source of income has been shut down. With the help of individual donations, UWChennai provided much-needed financial relief to these individuals by giving them 1 month’s pay equivalent to INR 7000 (approx. USD 100). The team is now expanding the campaign to help street vendors, artisans, and other daily wage laborers who have lost their livelihoods due to the lockdown.

The COVID-19 pandemic is no less than one, wreaking havoc on the health of the individual and livelihood of the poor. Fortunately, meeting this challenge is not impossible, only difficult. In this case, considering the restricted movement on-ground, UWChennai has directed its efforts towards fundraising which will eventually mitigate the long-term effects of the pandemic & the subsequent lockdown.


On 22nd March 2020, as the country entered its first phase of Lockdown, motivated by the motto that United Way envisions i.e. United We Fight, United We Win, the United Way Delhi team exhibited dedication towards emergency response right from the very onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a task force team on the backend, a brave UWD team braced to work on the ground.

The on-ground team made sure that all mandated emergency and quarantine protocols are being followed at every step. They even decided to stay insulated from their families at a dedicated apartment with enthusiasm towards the advancement of the common good. United Way Delhi’s response aimed at enabling supplies to hospitals including PPE kits, Gloves, Sanitizers, Masks, Testing kits, etc to aid the ongoing efforts of the state medical departments towards fighting the deadly Coronavirus. The Delhi team provided uninterrupted and relentless support to the medical professionals, para-medical staff, nurses, and other health care workers so that they continue to perform their duties with necessary protective gear and adequate medical equipment.

43000 triple layer masks, 26000 gloves, 10350 N-95(Euro Grade masks), 3600 bottles of hand sanitizers, 500 liters of hand wash liquid, 950 liters of floor disinfectants, 2732 PPE kits and 139 states of art curative medical equipment have been provided to the health care centers and hospitals so far by United Way Delhi.

The United Way Delhi team has faced a plethora of challenges during these interventions like ensuring authentic and genuine vendors and products, managing infection risks to the ground team, limited logistical support due to lockdown posed challenges with the delivery of supplies in certain areas and restricted time-bound movement created some level of complication with scheduling and planning.

Dr. Shuchin Bajaj of Ujala Cygnus Hospital in Delhi has expressed immense gratitude towards the entire United Way Delhi team for timely replenishment and reinforcement of the rapidly depleting protective gear, testing kits, etc, hand sanitizers, floor disinfectants, etc. He took to social media saying, “The power of Friendship continues. We have been struggling for good quality personal protective equipment including masks and it has created a big hurdle in our path of providing high-quality healthcare services to the most disadvantaged of communities. Our friends though are determined to get us over this obstacle in any way possible. Sachin Golwalkarsaw our struggles and made it his mission to get us PPE kits, masks, face shields and goodies we could not have imagined. What’s more he drove all the way and delivered everything himself. Thank you so much United Way Delhi, Sachin, Pallavika, Daud, and your entire team for this noble gesture. We can’t thank you enough. Forever indebted to you.”


The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 31,490 on April 29, 2020. With 9,318 Covid-19 cases, Maharashtra has registered the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country. To fight back in these unprecedented times, and to reach the unreached population across the Mumbai metropolitan region, United Way Mumbai with all the collective efforts are scaling up on a war footing to aid & protect those at the front lines while supporting & providing services to the unserved population.

The team has been working with families that have lost income because of the lockdown and providing ration and essentials kits to them. Alongside providing the PPE kits to hospitals, the team stepped further for the safety of the medical workers. The United Way Mumbai team has two BAMS doctors (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) in their staff. They are certified by the government of Maharashtra as practicing doctors. With the support of these two medical professionals, the training sessions on safety measures are conducted in the hospitals of Mumbai.

109200 three-ply-masks, 9825 N-95 masks, 5500 face shields, 9828 PPE Kits, 11 COVID 19 testing kits, installed 4 handwashing stations, and 3300 Hand Wash Liquid soap were distributed. The team is currently working with 22 hospitals across the country. Apart from these, United Way Mumbai is also in the process of sourcing 19 ventilators that will be installed in different hospitals.

The team faces many challenges during the intervention like to set up a strict quality check process to source PPE kits, the staggering deliveries, and less quantity in which they get the supplies from the manufacturers. And they have lost the last-mile connectivity with the community people as the team is now dependent on partner NGOs to distribute the ration and essential kits due to limited accessibility.

To lower the risk of exposing family members to get infected by the coronavirus, the United Way team is staying in a hotel since April first week. The dedication and enthusiasm to fight back this virus are now helping the team to work more efficiently.


United Way Baroda staff in collaboration with Gujarat Police distributing hot pack meals to the indigent communities from April 1, 2020 during COVID-19 lockdown across the country.

United Way Baroda in collaboration with Gujarat civic authorities and officials under police supervision, has started distributing hot pack meals daily to the most vulnerable and socio-economically weaker sections from April 1 till the lockdown period, considering utmost safety and hygienic protocols laid down by international medical regulatory bodies during service delivery.   

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