The war room #SOSCorona set up by team BharatSpandan has yet again proved that social media can be used effectively to address societal concerns and challenges.
- Girish Alva
Tough times need innovative solutions. The crisis the world and India is facing due to COVID-19 is one such situation where societal concerns need to be addressed through all available means. In order to save lives and health of crores of people, life and livelihoods of lakhs has been affected due to lockdown and other measures. It is at such a juncture that Team BharatSpandan has pitched in to supplement the efforts of the government and concerned people.
BharatSpandan sets up war room to fight COVID19
When the COVID19 pandemic seemed a tough fight in China in January, here in India the BharatSpandan team had begun raising awareness of people on personal hygiene and social distancing since January 2020.
On 25th March, 2020 PM Narendra Modi had announced the nationwide lockdown and simultaneously the War Room #SOSCorona was set up by Team Bharat Spandan on 27th March. The War Room comprised of volunteers from various organizations across the Nation and also individuals committed to serve.
Team initially defined the objective of the war room and then the strategy to achieve that. In the planning stage, the team defined 4 towers.
First one is the group creating a database of all available help on the ground, reliable individuals who can help, elected representative contacts across the nation, various orgs who are helping people affected by lockdown.
Second tower consists of people creating, mapping databases of war room volunteers, including their contacts, orgs they represent, locations they belong and other finer details required for the smooth functioning of the war room.
Third team worked on assigning issues, keeping track, updating and closure of the issues.
Fourth group worked on issue capture/ rationing, team management, networking and PR.
How it works
Anyone in need of help reaches BharatSpandan through email or using the hashtag #SOSCorona on Twitter and Facebook
Anyone who is in need of help reaches the team by sending out a message on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #SOSCorona. The message can be of need for food, grocery or medicine and any other request. The team sets to work by going through the request, mapping the needs with the location and resource persons.
The cases that appear before the Team BharatSpandan War Room are worked upon without any favour to any language, religion or caste. The priority is helping people in need of food, grocery or medicine, helping senior citizens or reaching out for medical aid. The satisfaction for the team is in finding a much needed solution in each case which is also an emotional cause for the team.
The meaning of serving the Nation in the real sense contributed in each case. The distress of the stranded when they message for help changes to joy with the arrival of help and it motivates the volunteers. There is no role for differentiation in cases on the basis of language, religion or caste. The team believes that It is a service to the nation while everyone is mandated to ‘Stay Home’ in this situation.
Effect of Strategic work
BharatSpandan volunteers have arranged and delivered food materials, essential items to more than 3015 people across the country
The strategy to create a well-defined workflow with stated objectives enabled the team to work diligently. Due to this systematic set up, Team BharatSpandan has been able to address 233 issues benefitting affected people from 16 states. This includes 152 cases related to food and ration requests across the nation benefiting more than 3015 needy people.
The team which listened to concerns on social media has been able to help people to get ration, food, essential supplies, connect people and resources. They have also helped stranded people get accommodation, medical help including requirements for blood and also address various other concerns related to aged people, emergencies at home, pregnant women, counselling, gas connections and arrange travel in extreme cases.
BharatSpandan during the crisis has also provided masks, basic medicines, portable thermal scanners to govt hospitals. It has arranged help and safety kits to volunteers working on the ground. It has supported a total of 12 teams/individuals, benefitting front line staff and volunteers. BharatSpandan also worked with team 'Vanvasi Kalyana' and raised funds to feed over 200 tribal families.
The team was able to work effectively and address concerns and issues due to a team of 143 people who themselves are from 11 states. 3 of them are from outside India.
Volunteers of BharatSpandan have reached out to medical staff, elderly and other emergencies all over the country
Here is a summary of the work team did in the last 18 days (as of 13 April 2020)
- Total Number of SM Volunteers: 143 (from 11 states & 3 countries outside India
- Total No. of Issues handled: Total of 233 issues were handled.
- Total States benefitted: 16 states across India are benefitted.
Types of Issues handled:
Food/ Ration: Some people wanted food, some wanted ration. Stranded north people in south, south people in north etc are helped. Team connected with various orgs and individuals active in the ground to achieve this. Handled 153 cases related to food/ ration requests across the nation benefitting more than 3015 people.
Accommodation: Stranded people needed accommodation and team worked with local contacts to house them. Handled few specific requests for accommodation.
Medical Related Help: Need specific medicine, Need blood, Need to transport medicine. Handled 31 related cases.
Humane Help: Example helping aged people, pregnant ladies, urgent travels, blind, patients, Getting LPG gas, Counselling, Arranging pick and drop when absolutely needed urgent cases. Handled 34 related cases.
Special Campaigns launched during war room functioning:
Support Frontline staff: Provided masks, basic medicines, portable thermal scanners to govt hospitals, other help and also safety kit to volunteers helping in the ground. Supported a total of 12 teams/individuals, benefitting front line staff and volunteers.
Support Tribals: Worked with team 'Vanvasi Kalyana' and raised fund to feed 200 tribal families.
About Team Bharat Spandan
Today Social Media is a part of our everyday life. Most people start their day by checking messages on WhatsApp, searching walls on FaceBook or going through Tweets. People mainly browse social media for news, to know what’s happening around them or to connect with friends and relatives. But a positive way of using Social Media to help in social causes has been assimilated by team @BharatSpandan since a few years with the objective to serve the Nation.
Team Bharat Spandan is a known face in Social Media constantly working for social causes, such as crowd funding for emergency medical causes, raising awareness on social issues, fodder for cattle during drought, relief and rescue coordination during floods, voter registration across India and voting awareness campaigns. During recent floods, the BharatSpandan team came up with a war room to connect flood victims looking for help with the people active in the rescue operations like various orgs, police, navy etc. These war rooms work like lighthouses guiding ships, because through Social Media sitting away we can see the bigger picture and are able to connect help to the needy.
Team Bharat Spandan works toward the solution in the War Room #SOSCorona to serve the Nation in the fight against the pandemic. BharatSpandan will continue to work for the nation with powerful Social Media in reach with good wishes of all citizens.