COVID-19 Emergency Response: Situation on Ground

COVID-19 Emergency Response: Situation on Ground

As India fights the ‘second wave’ of Covid 19, our poor and vulnerable elderly face the highest risk. Countless disadvantaged elders have already lost their livelihoods, are starving and have been rendered penniless. Many are physically frail with chronic conditions, living alone and have no one to turn to.At the outset of the pandemic, HelpAge India was invited to be part of the Civil Society consultation organized by NITI Aayog, to understand challenges and bring synergies in the response to COVID-19 situation in India, and has done extensive work in providing succour to elderly and communities in need and distress.

Facing the highest risk of fatality from the virus, their safety & security is a major concern. Social Distancing has its own challenges for elders, many of whom are already struggling with loneliness, anxiety, restricted mobility, and lack of financial security. Demands for food and basic essentials is rapidly rising. The elderly and their families are marginalized, amongst the worst affected and are simply struggling to survive.


HelpAge Intervention

HelpAge India is working across the nation, to assist and support local administrations in facilitating vaccination and providing relief and safety, particularly to the disadvantaged elders and their communities through its various program interventions.

HelpAge is working hard to protect the needy against Covid-19, especially our poor and vulnerable elderly. It is supporting the government’s vaccination drive by facilitating vaccination of elders, especially those poor
& disadvantaged.


Based on the need assessment on-ground, here below are some of HelpAge India’s interventions:

  • Survival Kits providing basic ration & essential items to poor elders and their family. The kit includes items like rice, wheat, spices, cooking oil, soap, detergent along with Immunity boosters such as Zincovit, Vitamin C and Basic Screening Tools such as Finger Pulse Oximeter & infrared Thermometer.
  • Corona Protection Hygiene Kits which include soaps, detergents, high quality reusable face masks.
  • Vaccination Facilitation of elder beneficiaries from HelpAge supported Elder-Self-Help-Groups & its Mobile healthcare program and Senior Citizens Association members. This includes vaccination awareness drives, helping elders with the registration process & transportation of elders to vaccination centres.
  • Essential Medical support through its vast national network of 170 plus Mobile Healthcare Units, providing free medicines & treatment, to poor elders & their community in rural areas and slums. This is critical, as most elders are chronic patients suffering from hyper tension, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis etc, and cannot afford to pay for their medicines, many are physically frail or bed-ridden, and cannot walk to the nearest hospital or PHC. These MHUs provide free medicines and treatment virtually to the doorstep.
  • HelpAge’s National Elders Helpline (1800-180-1253) active across 21 states in India, is providing much needed assistance to elders in need, those abandoned on streets, in need of medication, shelter, hospitalization and other support during this time.
  • Online Digital Literacy Training Workshops for both rural & urban elders- enabling them to do online transactions such as paying their utility bills, online banking, grocery shopping, connect with family & friends, for rural elders even help with their livelihood, so they can become independent and self-reliant. HelpAge has also started online classes specifically to assist senior citizens with registration for Covid Vaccination and tackling misinformation.
  • HelpAge Old Age Homes – residents are being provided basic essentials, food, medical aid and help with vaccination during this time, constant health check-ups are conducted to ensure their safety.

The need on-ground is immense and the numbers staggering. Help is required from all corners to meet this surging demand.



HelpAge India is working in 125 districts spread across 25 states in India. It has till now reached out to over 10 lakh elders and their families, destitute & homeless persons and migrants across India, through it’s various relief
initiatives during the COVID 19 pandemic.

  • 60,000 Family Survival Kits distributed benefiting 3,00,000 poor
    elderly and their families.
  • 10,000 Nutritional Kits distributed for 50,000 disadvantaged
  • 1,20,000 poor elderly & their families received Hygiene Kits
    equipped with soaps, sanitizers, hand wash etc.
  • 2,00,000 free cooked meals distributed amongst needy elders,
    migrant workers, homeless and destitute.
  • 5,00,000 lakh disadvantaged elders & their community supported
    with medicines and provided primary care.
  • 30,000 poor rural elderly supported through cash transfers.
  • Nearly 5000 elder beneficiaries residing in over 120 old age homes
    across India received heath and ration support.
  • 50,000 elders reached out to, through calls and delivery of
    essential items and medicines at their door steps, through the
    HelpAge Elder Helpline (1800-180-1253) across 21 states.


Do your bit by contributing to HelpAge India COVID 19 Response and Efforts mentioned above.