Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic 3 of our State Level Carers Forums (SLCF) have met virtually this month to continue their efforts in creating a fairer world for carers.
A key focus for each meeting was the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Each meeting discussed in depth the ways in which COVID-19 has impacted persons who have ill health or are disabled, and their carers.
Dr Janardhan from NIMHANS, Karnataka commented:
“Hospitals are not providing all services. Carers’ responsibilities have increased and the burden on carers has been very high in this pandemic period.”
As well as discussing the challenges, the forums shared innovative ways in which stakeholders are ensuring vulnerable persons are able to access the support that they need during the pandemic.
Mr Reddy from UETS, Andhra Pradesh stated:
“As our specialised centres were closed during lock down, families of children with intellectual disabilities were given virtual training on physiotherapy and special education. The families benefitted greatly from this virtual training. Online counselling was also provided to individuals who required it. As and when educational institutions re-open we hope to bring in 50% of children and 50% of staff three times a week on a rotation basis.”
In the Odisha SLCF meeting, Anil Patil, Founder and Executive Director of Carers Worldwide raised the point that:
“Whilst the last six months have been a difficult and challenging time, the current situation has brought the importance of care in to the global spotlight and it is hoped we will emerge in to a better and fairer world.”
Stakeholders attending the SLCFs announced their commitment to continuing to support persons who have ill health or are disabled, and their carers, throughout the duration of the pandemic.
Once the pandemic is under control, key learnings from this unprecedented time will be used to drive forward the carers movement ensuring that recognition and protection for carers stays on the global agenda.