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Crisis helpline

+91 91675 35765

One-Stop Crisis Centre at KEM Hospital


Working through a pandemic

Measures taken by SNEHA as response to COVID-19

Mumbai and Thane

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the immunity of our beneficiaries was even more critical to prevent them from getting infected. Apart from the immediate relief work during the pandemic, we continue to work on improving the health of our beneficiaries, with special focus on malnutrition and anaemia among pregnant and lactating women, children and adolescents. We are also addressing issues like mental health and domestic violence arising as a result of increase in stress levels due to the fear of contracting COVID-19 and staying indoors in congested homes.

SNEHA works in slum communities in Mumbai (Dharavi, Wadala, Govandi, Mankhurd, Malvani, Kurla, Kandivali), Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Vasai-Virar, Mira-Bhayandar, Ulhasnagar and Bhiwandi-Nizampur directly reaching about 342,778 women and children and indirectly reaching over 1 million population. During the start of COVID-19, due to the nation-wide lockdown, the teams were working from home over phone/online addressing the needs arising during the pandemic through more than 6000 community-based volunteers while continuing our regular work on health and safety.


Our COVID-19 focus was on 3 aspects

Awareness creation

Educating slum communities on preventive measures like hand wash, personal hygiene, symptoms of COVID-19, proper usage of masks, significance of timely vaccination, tips on self-isolation, social distancing and other such precautions. This was done through direct phone calls to beneficiaries and through our community volunteers who helped reach more community members. We conducted a survey to assess vaccine coverage and vaccine hesitancy. We continue to educate and inform our communities on Covid-19 vaccines to increase uptake of the same.

Working with Government

We worked closely with senior Government functionaries at the city and state level to ensure continuity of health services for pregnant women, anaemic women/adolescents and immunisation of children; advocating for supply of rations at concessional rates, as announced by the Central Government and conducting online training for front-line healthcare workers on COVID-19. We mobilised communities for vaccination through public and public/private partnerships.

Direct Services

This included distribution of food rations to needy families with no access to the public distribution system; supporting frontline health workers across the 7 Municipal Corporations with supply of masks and sanitizer bottles; continuation of counselling services to address mental health issues and cases of violence against women and children.

Our response till date (April 2020-current)

  • 442,791 ration packs distributed  to needy families directly and in coordination with other NGOs, voluntary organisations and local corporators.32,347 boxes of fruits and vegetables to needy families in Dharavi living within containment (high risk) zones in the pandemic.
  • 30,773 sanitary pads were distributed to adolescent girls and women from poorer or marginalised families.
  • Material provided to 7 Municipal Corporations to keep health workers and our community volunteers & staff safe during the pandemic:  
    • 192,620 sanitisers
    • 314,249 disposable face masks
    • 7,489 face shields
    • 58,949 cloth face masks
    • 32,386 PPE kits
    • 59,700 N95 masks
    • 12,500 surgical caps
    • 78,100 plastic gloves
    • 112,150 latex gloves
    • 3,000 disposable bed sheets
    • 133 pulse oximeters
    • 107 infrared thermometers
    • 55,924 syringes with needles for vaccination
    • 8 selfie stands for vaccination centres
    • 25 ice lined refrigerators and freezers for Covid-19 Vaccine storage
  • Communication for vaccine hesitancy :  We launched a communication campaign jointly with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the Mumbai NGO Collaborative, a group of five NGOs working in vulnerable informal settlements, to address vaccine hesitancy.
  • Emotional resilience sessions :  We conducted emotional resilience sessions & counselling through online group calls and our Clinical Psychologists have provided mental health counselling to adolescents. Anaemia follow-up and nutrition counselling was also conducted with adolescents.
  • Online training for ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist)  workers and hundreds of members of Mahila Arogya Samitis (Women’s health committees) on preventive measures, proper use of masks and identification of early symptoms and referral for COVID-19.
  • Our 24/7 crisis helplines and the One Stop Centre (OSC) at KEM Hospital have been functional throughout the pandemic providing phone and online counselling to women and children in distress. Read more here.


Thank you to our supporters

EY Foundation

Harsh & Bina Shah Foundation

ATE Chandra Foundation

Pramiti Philanthropy Partners

SILA Solutions

Uplift Foundation


Mariwala Trust

Norwest Venture Partners

KBF Canada

Give 2 Asia

Fund Euroclear, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation