Sewa's initiative in COVID-19 pandemic
by Shreya Sreekantham (Grade 10 Student of Basis Chandler)
Phoenix, AZ: Panic over the coronavirus is reaching a fever pitch worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to spread throughout the world, with the U.S. as the world leader in confirmed cases. Many states have enacted strict measures in an attempt to contain the virus, such as shutting down schools and closing all nonessential businesses, but still it has continued to spread. In the US alone, the epidemic has claimed thousands of lives, and with thousands more testing positive daily, these numbers are only growing.
Health care workers who treat coronavirus patients are at the highest risk for the transmission of this disease. These medical personnel are working tirelessly against this epidemic, risking their own heath for the betterment of society. Unfortunately, healthcare professionals are currently facing a shortage of masks, placing them at even more risk than ever before.
In a widespread response to this crisis, Sewa International Phoenix has introduced a new initiative: a volunteering service to sew reusable and durable masks. Operating under CDC guidelines, our volunteers are taking the utmost care to maintain proper hygiene and safety while making these masks. This quarantine-friendly initiative not only helps organizations across the state combat the mask shortages, but also brings together the entire household during these times of isolation, engaging all family members in the service of our community. Sewa youth volunteers are also pitching in, assisting their families in making masks and sending encouraging messages to healthcare and other essential workers in Arizona. In total, over 80 volunteers are working to serve hospitals, senior homes, and other organizations, and more than 1000 masks have been made and delivered so far to sites across the state.
Sewa International, a Hindu faith-based organization, believes in सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः । (May all be happy, may all be free from illness). Our values teach us to “work for the wellness of all.” These critical times are when we most need to practice this, not just in close social circles, but also in our entire community. So in addition to the homemade masks initiative, Sewa International is also providing non-medical advice, support, and services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Services such as a non-medical hotline, family grocery delivery, and donations are being offered not just in Phoenix but in all our 43 chapters across the United States.
Sewa International is committed to providing the best services possible during these unfortunate times. Communities and organizations across the US are benefitting from the services offered by Sewa International. Thank you to all volunteers and to everyone who is dedicating their time and effort to serving others during this crisis.