Like anyone else little did we realize that how 2020 will pan out to be for Porosh. While we were busy carrying-out our usual work pertaining to dementia counselling and providing nurses, physiotherapists & attendants to the members by January-end the news on some infectious virus started to trickle-in. Several conspiracy theories start to float around about what we now know as Wuhan virus (i.e. Covid-19). News about lockdown being imposed in several countries in the West and cancellation of foreign flights to & from India only added to our curiosity but did not yet elicit any fear. How vividly do we remember the funny memes on circulation on the social media. Sadly, we had not yet realized the gravity of the situation as the public perception was that media was creating a hype for increased TRP ratings.
However, it was only when the nation-wide lockdown came to force on March 24th we were in for some real shock. It was an experience for which none were prepared. As far as Porosh was concerned all the regular activities came to a grinding halt overnight. Due to safety concerns the dementia counselling sessions stopped and so did the physiotherapy sessions. Our mobility was restricted and the staff members were confined in their homes. We were taken aback by the sudden turn of event.
Instead of being cowed-down Porosh decided to reach-out to the senior citizens who were in dire straits due to lack of access to medicine and grocery. Over the next two months (April/ May) we catered 53 elderly citizens (all non-members of Porosh) regularly across the length and breadth of the city. The expression of joy and a sense of relief on their faces at the time of receiving medicines and grocery items will remain etched on our minds forever. We owe a lot of thanks to the Kolkata Police and also Pronam who had referred several distressed individuals to Porosh.
With the gradual easing of lockdown once again the regular activities picked-up momentum. Getting to meet our members after a gap of 2/3 months was indeed joyous. There werebad news as well. Condition of a couple of members suffering from dementia deteriorated dramatically in the absence of counselling sessions. One of the members also passed away due to Covid infection.
In the 4th quarter of the calendar year Porosh bounced back with a vengeance, so to say. On Oct 1st a featured article was published on the occasion of “World Elderly Day’ in The Indian Express. This was followed by publication of an interview by a Bengaluru based organization on Porosh. After that we became a registered member of ‘StartUp India’ (a GOI initiative) followed by the launch of new, vibrant and contemporary looking website. Last but not the least on Dec 31st Porosh established its presence in the LinkedIn as well.
Thus, on the whole it was a year full of challenges, ups & downs but we did not lose confidence in our abilities and kept on discharging our responsibilities with grit, determination and passion. The section on VoC (Voice of Customer) in the website (www.poroshkolkata.org) bears testimony to it.