In retrospection, the financial year 2019-2020 was a challenging year for MARI, while the calendar year 2020 till date, is a watershed period for not only MARI but for the most of the NGOs in India and across the world, mainly because of the devastating effect that the COVID-19 has created. Despite the challenges, MARI has made significant contribution in providing relief to the poor and vulnerable affected by COVID-19 and corollary lockdown situation and we have ongoing initiatives for strengthening community preparedness in urban slums of Hyderabad for prevention and control of COVID-19. However, owing to the exceptional pandemic event that has taken place during the calendar year 2020, MARI’s activities on COVID-19, till date are also mentioned in a nutshell in this preface.
For the past three decades, MARI has been working towards the upliftment of the down trodden and the underprivileged. As in the past, the organization was forging ahead, duly implementing various development programs in response to the needs of diverse communities in urban, rural and tribal areas.
The WHO has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic in March, 2020, as a result of which, many countries, have clamped lock-down (so that the virus is not spread amongst the population), as a result of which the whole of economic activity had come to a standstill, rendering many people, jobless or subjected to pay-cuts. The production was halted. Governments suffered huge loss of revenues. The effect was most telling and cruel on the poor people, dwelling in slums etc. Even though the lock down in many countries is being lifted in phases, the economic activity is already severely affected and a bleak future is staring at every one, with unimaginable consequences. Rebuilding the livelihoods and meeting subsistence needs has become very challenging.
Immediately many Corporates, wealthy individuals, celebrities, as also foreign donor organizations etc. responded with contributions to help the needy. MARI realised that this was a great opportunity to serve the humanity. It also felt that it was an ordained call from the Almighty. MARI was in receipt of Grants under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program from Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives (APPI); Ernest and Young, besides OXFAM, CARE & SHARE, etc. Under these programs, MARI supplied dry rations and hygiene products (including but not limited to sanitizers, face masks, detergents, antiseptic soaps etc.). The beneficiaries included the poorest of poor — daily wage earners; disabled and differently abled persons; low income group persons; persons without employment or affected owing to lockdown etc. Till 30th September, 2020, about 11252 beneficiaries were covered under the COVID-19 programs funded by the above Donors. The above COVID-19 Programs related to charitable activities — providing relief to the poor and medical services to the COVID-19 affected persons.
The Office-bearers, Management and all the Staff members, Volunteers and other Project and Non-Project Personnel, who are all part of the implementation of COVID-19 Program deserve hearty appreciation for their co-operation, brave, spontaneous and self-less and service. The management of MARI wishes to place on record, its heart felt appreciation and thanks to one and all, who participated in the above programs. In spite of natural and justified fears and caution expressed by the family members of the respective staff members, they volunteered to serve under the program and were thus also recipient of the blessings of the beneficiaries too. They have upheld the maxim “Service to fellow human beings is Service to God”. All the Donors of the COVID-19 too, deserve compliments for their deep understanding of the COVID-19 problem; finalizing the program and budget and funding of the project within a short span of time.