The first case of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Indian state of Karnataka was confirmed on 9 March 2020. Two days later, the state became the first in India to invoke the provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, which are set to last for a year, to curb the spread of the disease. Workers in the informal sector, particularly street vendors, construction workers, healthcare and gig economy workers are the most adversely impacted sections following the restrictions imposed to fight coronavirus.

Bidar, Kalburgi and Yadgir districts are the worst affected districts in North  Karnataka. To address this COVID 19, Vidyanikethan, supported by Comic Relief and Terre des Hommes-Netherlands, improves the lives and livelihoods of people from vulnerable and marginalised sections of society in Bidar, Kalburgi and Yadgir districts, Karnataka.

From IMAGE Next project, during this lockdown period, Vidyanikethan has reached 15 villages of 3 blocks in 3 districts and supported dry rations like Cereals, pulses, oil, sugar etc for emergency relief and Hygiene Kits like Masks and Handwashing Soaps for protection and hygiene. The team has distributed the relief items to 229 vulnerable and marginalised families who are the victims and survivors of Early Child Marriages.

It has also engaged well the EMGs and Survivors by conducting the Rangoli and Posters competition on COVID 19 during this lockdown period so that they will not feel depressed or feared.

It has rolled out these relief measures from 7th May 2020 to 20th May 2020  by the field team members with the support of local leaders, PRI Members, grass-root levels government workers like ASHAs and AWWs and local CSOs.

In addition to these, the team is continuously putting its efforts for prevention and protection measures through awareness on COVID 19 by distributing IEC materials in the local languages. The field team members are in continuous touch with the Early Married Girls (EMGs) and Survivors through personal visits as well as through mobile conversions.

Vidyanikethan is putting its utmost efforts to empower the field staff by conducting various meetings on Concall through the IMAGE project and also planning to build the capacity of movement leaders through online training.

Thanks to Comic Relief, Terre des Hommes-Netherlands and Vidyanikethan Bidar Team for this great effort