If ever there was a time to give to those most in need, then this is the time. The people of Nepal, especially the elderly and infirm are fighting a grim battle after the devastating earthquake. There is an urgent need for water, food, shelter, medicine and longer-term support.
The hospitals are pushing their limits to the extreme to cater to the needs of the people. People are being treated on the streets because of dearth of clean hygienic places. Older people are more susceptible to the vagaries of nature as their movements are slower and they are unable to carry much load and possessions.
Now is the time for people like you to contribute personally and organize others to donate. HelpAge India in partnership with India Cares Foundation has mounted an initiative to mobilize funds to aid the earthquake affected in Nepal, particularly the aged and the infirm, through HelpAge International.
Nepal’s elderly constitute 8.13% of the total population, 2.4 million people are above 60 years of age. HelpAge International (HAI) estimates that around 6,50,000 older women and men in Nepal have been affected by the disaster. As of 27 May 2015, government figures show 8,676 confirmed deaths, 17,866 injured, 489,549 buildings completely destroyed and thousands now living under temporary shelters.
HelpAge found that the elderly have been generally overlooked by the humanitarian system. HelpAge thus engaged with various clusters responsible for co-ordinating rescue and relief in the weeks following the 25th April earthquake to ensure that the needs of elders are included in their response efforts. HelpAge is operating in two of the worst-affected districts: Kathmandu and Bhaktapur.
Support is being given to local partners to ensure that organizations responding to the disaster are aware of older people’s specific needs, for example for mobility aids or medical care for chronic diseases.
Assessing the most effective health and nutrition response is being done so that older people can access the healthcare they need for chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as other health conditions.
It is distributing cash transfers to older people and their families. Cash transfers allow people to buy items they need most whether it’s food, shelter, medicines or as a means to start earning an income again to support themselves and their families.
First, HelpAge gains the endorsement and approval of the concerned district authorities (Chief District Officer – the Chair of the District Disaster Relief Committee).
Second, It reaches the most-affected villages with permissions to operate in, and conduct focussed group discussions with community members.
Third, It uses criteria-based frameworks to identify Older People above 60, who are most affected by the earthquake, in terms of houses partially or completely damaged.
Fourth, Support is taken from the local district chapters under the National Federation of Senior Citizens (NASCIF) and the local VDC secretaries/officials to VALIDATE the names and identities of older beneficiaries – this ensures that the right and eligible older people are selected.
Lastly,The eligible beneficiaries are then given coupons that are half-torn. While HelpAge holds on to one half of the coupon, the older beneficiaries have the other. On Distribution Day, the elders simply turn up at the distribution centre, show their half of the coupon, sign on the required documents, and go back home with their much needed cash grant!
HelpAge and its local partners aim to deliver direct health benefits to over 8,000 Older People in at least 9 of the 14 most affected districts, through improved access to health care services that support improvements in their wellbeing and in their recovery capacities.
Right now, there’s an urgent need for funds so that local agencies known to HelpAge India and the HelpAge International network members, can arrange and supply locally whatever they assess to be most needed; and what steps can be taken in the longer term to rebuild shattered lives and assist the elderly, infirmed and their families.
So please donate generous amounts.
Send us your Cheque / Demand Draft in favour of ‘HelpAge India.’ (Do mention on the reverse of the cheque – ‘for Nepal earthquake relief’.
Postal address is: HelpAge India, C – 14, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi – 110016.
Cash Donations (upto INR 10,000) will be accepted at the HelpAge India offices across India
Your donations will help bring much needed relief to the suffering, specially the old and infirm, as it is they who are least equipped to bear such extreme hardships.
All donations towards Nepal Earthquake relief fund will be 50% tax exempt under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
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