SAC COVID-19 Support Grants

Main Page | Latest Developments in South Asia | Impact of COVID-19 on South Asia's Minorities | COVID-19 Support Grants

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Asia Collective (SAC) launched a grant programme with funding support from the European Union and Norad to fund short-term projects that examine and address the specific issues that South Asia's minorities have been facing. A total of 18 initiatives from across South Asia were identified, and have begun receiving assistance (or will shortly) from the SAC. The types of interventions are broad and varied, and include documentation and advocacy efforts, public awareness campaigns, and engagement with traditional and social media to address and combat COVID-19 related misinformation and disinformation. All initiatives make a concerted effort to highlight the minority dynamics of the pandemic. In this section, we bring to you a quick overview of the projects. More comprehensive reports on how these projects have played out on the ground will appear in the next edition of the Bulletin, scheduled for late-September, 2020.

The support grantees are:

Afghanistan

Porsesh Research and Studies Organization
MasterPeace Afghanistan

Bangladesh

Chinishpur Dipshikha Mahila Samity
Initiative for Right View
Indigenous Peoples' Development Services

Nepal

Digital Broadcast Initiative Equal Access
LIFE Nepal

India

AMAN Trust
Organization for Community Development
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
The Polis Project
Rohingya Human Rights Initiative

Pakistan

Pakistan Rural Workers Social Welfare Organisation
Saher Arts for Peace & Sustainable Development

Sri Lanka

Centre for Society and Religion
Centre for Communication Training
National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Press Institute

Afghanistan

Porsesh Research and Studies Organization
Kabul, Afghanistan
Porsesh Research and Studies Organization
Campaign to spread awareness about COVID-19 in Kabul’s Sikh gurdwaras/dharamsals

PRSO will raise awareness about COVID-19 prevention measures at two Dharamsals serving the Afghan Sikh community. PRSO will coordinate with the Dharamsal management committees, and also print and distribute pictorial, Punjabi-language posters and pamphlets.

Area covered: Karte Parwan and Shorbazar areas of Kabul
Beneficiaries: Sikh community



Masterpeace Afghanistan
Kabul, Afghanistan
Masterpeace Afghanistan
Co-Creating in Distance

MasterPeace’s Afghanistan Club will raise awareness among vulnerable communities, start an online platform with self-recorded videos from young people celebrities, and create and share knowledge.

Area covered: Nationwide
Beneficiaries: Vulnerable communities in Afghanistan

Bangladesh

Chinishpur Dipshikha Mohila Samity
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Chinishpur Dipshikha Mohila Samity
Awareness programme on COVID-19 among Harijan community

CDMS will create awareness about COVID-19 among the Harijan population by creating one access point for information and services, and train at least 30 members of the community to create a community support system.

Area covered: Narshingdi Sadar, Dhaka
Beneficiaries: Harijan community



Initiative for Right View
Khulna, Bangladesh
Initiative for Right View
An initiative to understand the situation of the indigenous Munda community in the context of COVID-19.

IRV will raise awareness about COVID-19 among the Munda population, and also conduct a needs-assessment of the vulnerable community for effective advocacy with local authorities.

Area covered: Remote villages of Koyra Upazila, Khulna
Beneficiaries: Munda community



Indigenous Peoples’ Development Services
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Indigenous Peoples’ Development Services
Indigenous Peoples’ Context Assessment and Monitoring

IPDS will form a network of volunteers to monitor over phone: the livelihoods situation of indigenous peoples; their access to government relief efforts; the availability of PPE particularly to indigenous female nurses; and any other impacts that disproportionately affect indigenous women. IPDS will also use its insights for local and national advocacy.

Area covered: Six districts (Tangail, Mymensingh, Sherpur, Jamalpur, Gazipur and Netrakona) in Mymensingh and Dhaka divisions
Beneficiaries: 8 indigenous groups: Garo, Banai, Mandai, Koch, Bormon, Dalu, Hodi and Hajong

India

AMAN Trust
New Delhi, India
AMAN Trust
Upholding the rights of the minority waste-picker community during COVID-19

AMAN, in coordination with Awadh Peoples Forum, will conduct a house-to-house survey of all migrant waste-picker families from Assam in the project area, and form and train a taskforce of leaders from among them to liaise with authorities, monitor conditions, and conduct advocacy.

Area covered: Ayodhya and Barabanki districts, Uttar Pradesh
Beneficiaries: Migrant waste-pickers from Assam



Organization for Community Development
Kanyakumari, India
Organization for Community Development
Survey on structural discrimination and social and economic exclusion of the Christian Mukkuvar indigenous minority community

OCD will conduct a detailed survey to understand and document the forms of discrimination faced by the community while accessing the government’s response and relief measures in the wake of the pandemic.

Area covered: Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu
Beneficiaries: Christian Mukkuvar fisherfolk community



Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
New Delhi, India
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
Documenting discrimination against people from NE India and other minorities in relation to COVID-19

CHRI will document stories of racial discrimination faced by ethnic minorities from India’s North East states and the reported targeting of Muslims in the country in the wake of the campaign to show them as responsible for the COVID-19 spread in the country.

Area covered: Nationwide
Beneficiaries: Muslim community and various ethnic minority communities from India’s North East.



The Polis Project
New York, USA
The Polis Project
Watch the State: Documenting state violence during the lockdown in India

SAC will support The Polis Project’s ongoing effort to document stories of violence by State actors against citizens during the lockdown period. The Polis Project will also build a lockdown violence database to facilitate the detailed analysis of patterns, mechanisms, categories, state actors and victims of violence.

Area covered: Nationwide
Beneficiaries: Vulnerable sections across India



Rohingya Human Rights Initiative
New Delhi, India

COVID-19 protection monitoring and advocacy for Rohingya refugees in India

ROHRingya will set up protection monitoring mechanisms, and conduct campaigns on countering misinformation around COVID-19. ROHRingya will also conduct advocacy meetings with the UNHCR, local NGOs, government agencies, human rights lawyers, and the media.

Area covered: Five districts across two states in India (Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh)
Beneficiaries: Rohingya refugee community in India

Nepal

Digital Broadcast Initiative Equal Access
Lalitpur, Nepal
Digital Broadcast Initiative Equal Access
Bolstering awareness about COVID-19 through multi-lingual radio Public Service Announcements (PSAs).

DBIEA’s PSAs in seven languages will encompass a range of issues including basic information related to COVID-19, the identification of rumours and misinformation, and the importance of maintaining social harmony.

Area covered: Nationwide
Beneficiaries: Women, Dalits, people living with disabilities, people living with HIV, gender and sexual minorities, religious minorities, and ethnic minorities across Nepal.


LIFE Nepal
Dhanusha, Nepal
LIFE Nepal
Campaign for Coronavirus (CfC), to address and eliminate information gaps between the government, media, NGOs and citizens.

LIFE’s strategic interventions will include the translation of key COVID-related messages to Bhojpuri and Maithili, megaphone announcements at the local level, FM programmes, air PSAs, broadcast interviews, and the designing of a story board for dissemination on social media platforms. 

Area covered: Province No. 2
Beneficiaries: Minority communities across the province

Pakistan

Pakistan Rural Workers Social Welfare Organisation
Bahawalpur, Pakistan
Pakistan Rural Workers Social Welfare Organisation
Active engagement of former elected local government representatives in efforts to fight COVID-19

PRWSWO will engage former local government representatives from the Hindu community to conduct awareness-raising community meetings for the Hindu community. PWRSWO will also organise radio interviews with the representatives, and develop and print brochures containing information about precautionary measures. 

Area covered: Six villages in Bahawalpur district
Beneficiaries: Hindu community


Saher Arts for Peace & Sustainable Development
Balochistan, Pakistan
Saher Arts for Peace & Sustainable Development
We are equal

Saher Arts will form a social action group, conduct a survey for registration of members of the Bagri community in government relief schemes, and raise awareness via theatre for hygiene and clean drinking water. A short video documentary will also be made highlighting the problems of the community. 

Area covered: Jaffarabad District, Balochistan
Beneficiaries: Bagri (Hindu) community

Sri Lanka

Centre for Society and Religion
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Centre for Society and Religion
Shanty Dwellers, Stay Safe from COVID-19

CSR will use song, dance, drama and posters to conduct awareness sessions about various aspects related to COVID-19 for the students and parents residing in shanties in Colombo.

Area covered: Mattakkuliya, Colombo
Beneficiaries: Shanty dwellers


Centre for Communication Training
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Centre for Communication Training
Sustaining livelihoods of youth in plantation communities affected by COVID-19

CCT will conduct awareness campaigns through mobile announcements using three-wheel taxis, and also promote stay-home activities. CCT will also conduct a needs-assessment of the target community and share findings with other institutions providing post-COVID assistance.

Area covered: Hatton, Central Province
Beneficiaries: Youth who have lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic


National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka
Colombo, Sri Lanka
National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka
COVID-19: Restrictive laws and minorities

NCEASL will produce a policy paper on Sri Lanka’s existing laws on infectious diseases, and the impact these laws will have on Sri Lanka’s minority groups. Research-based advocacy will then be conducted to ensure that minority concerns are captured within the framework of Sri Lankan law. 

Area covered: Nationwide
Beneficiaries: Sri Lanka’s various minority groups


Sri Lanka Press Institute
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Press Institute
Countering Hate Speech through Ethical Communication

SLPI will analyse hate speech trends on Sri Lanka’s mainstream print and social media, and produce in three languages effective counter narratives that will abide by the ethical code of professional practice for journalism. SLPI’s counter posts will be widely disseminated using its pre-existing network of journalists across the country, and on social media.

Area covered: Nationwide
Beneficiaries: Sri Lanka’s various minority groups

Main Page | Latest Developments in South Asia | Impact of COVID-19 on South Asia's Minorities | COVID-19 Support Grants


The South Asia Collective would like to thank the following for reviewing this edition of the Bulletin: Afghanistan: Khodadad Bisharat (Founder, Development Alternative Experts, and Policy Advisor to the Ministry of Education, Government of Afghanistan); Bangladesh: Khalid Hussain (Founder & Chief Executive, Council of Minorities); India: Tehmina Arora (Alliance Defending Freedom), Meena Varma and Ritwajit Das (International Dalit Solidarity Network); Nepal: Khem Shreesh (Social Science Baha); Pakistan: Naumana Suleman (Minority Rights Group International); Sri Lanka: Ruki Fernando (INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre)

The contents of this Online Bulletin are the sole responsibility of The South Asia Collective and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or Norad.
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