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Alva Foundation: Bridging the gap between medical treatment and infrastructure

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With the monsoon season and lockdown restrictions bearing down heavy on remote areas such as Malnad and Sirsi, the Alva Foundation has begun an ambulance service to bridge the gap of accessibility to healthcare and transportation.

The ambulance service began 10 days ago in conjunction with Arunodhaya Trust, Sirsi. Apart from helping individuals in need of medical assistance, the service is also helping with vaccination efforts. With a mass vaccination drive seen as an effective way to reduce the number of cases in the country, the ambulance service is transporting individuals in need to and fro the vaccination sites.

Nivedith Alva, a trustee at the Alva Foundation said, “While vaccination is key in these times, not every individual has the means to reach the vaccination camp. There might be people with special needs and physical setbacks. One might be handicapped or paralysed and thus unable to take the vaccination. Hence, we decided to undertake the responsibility of helping disadvantaged people reach the vaccination camps using the service. We also drop them back to their homes.”

Furthermore, the ambulance service is helping transport bodies of the deceased back to their loved ones. The Foundation is keeping tabs on the needs of the taluks to support the existing organisations doing charity work. The foundation is well-connected in the region so they can swiftly stir into action. They plan to extend the service for as long as needed, since it is a necessary helping hand in the current circumstances. Talking about the death and destruction that the region has witnessed since the second wave of the pandemic, Nivedith highlighted the importance of vigilance and prevention.

“During the first wave, cities were the ones hit badly and rural areas thought urban areas were overreacting. In the interim, people from cities came to villages thinking that the threat of the virus was over. But that only led to the spread of the disease in rural areas. Now it’s a very sad sight to see as nearly everyone, including older people have caught the infection”, he said.

Having been established as a family foundation in 2008 in memory of Joachim and Violet Alva, the first couple in the Indian Parliament, the foundation takes on a lot of charity work in the Uttar Kannada region.

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