The ICMIF team lends its support to the ICMIF Foundation appeal to help India’s low-income communities affected by Covid-19

8 September 2021

ICMIF sponsored walk for DHAN Foundation 2021

Earlier this year, the ICMIF Foundation launched an appeal to ICMIF members asking them to support ICMIF member and ICMIF Foundation project partner the DHAN Foundation in its work supporting low-income communities in India during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the launch of the appeal a number of member organisations have donated money to support the project. Wanting to lend their support to the appeal also, the ICMIF team of staff members decided to complete a sponsored walk to raise funds; raising a total of over GBP 3000 to help the DHAN Foundation in its critical work.

India is home to 1.3 billion people and this year has found itself is in a crisis never seen before due to Covid-19. The second wave of Covid-19 swept the country, especially in the low-income communities in rural areas with issues like very low availability of hospital care in rural areas and hospitals in urban areas being overwhelmed. Medicines and oxygen have been in short supply and even medical staff became scarce. Also, in May 2021, the DHAN Foundation reported that, due to lockdowns in many Indian States, the livelihoods of labourers, street vendors, small-shop owners and farmers had been directly affected which led to about one third of low-income families falling back into the poverty trap again in the rural areas.

Since the start of the pandemic, the DHAN Foundation has been working on the front line to support communities in their fight against Covid-19 in rural India. Please watch this video for more information on the work that DHAN has been doing.

Wanting to contribute personally to help the DHAN Foundation continue their efforts during the ongoing pandemic, the ICMIF team, led by Chief Finance Officer, Steve Leicester, organised a ten-mile sponsored walk* which took place in at the end of July. Ten members of the team took part in the walk and a total of GBP 1610 was raised through sponsorship which was then matched by ICMIF bringing the total to GBP 3220. All the funds raised by the team will go directly to the DHAN Foundation to support it in its work during the pandemic.

Ahiladevi (Ahila) Subramanian, Chief Executive of People’s Mutual (part of the DHAN Foundation) expressed her gratitude to the ICMIF team saying: “On behalf of DHAN Foundation, we would like to express our gratitude for your outstanding fundraising event on 31 July. We are delighted to continue working with ICMIF and the ICMIF Foundation to provide a safety net for low-income families across India through our mutual insurance programme.

Ahila continued: “This is our fifth year working with ICMIF and so far we have reached 0.67 million people with mutual insurance, and this year our aim is to reach 1 million poor people. Working with ICMIF and the ICMIF Foundation enables us to provide mutual insurance for those who were previously uninsured in areas such as northern India. This year, in our goal of reaching 1 million people, any donations and fundraising will help us provide poor people with risk management and mutual insurance through which we can hopefully achieve our overall goal of poverty eradication.”

Speaking after the walk, Steve Leicester said: “I am delighted by the support shown by the ICMIF team. This is a fabulous amount for a small team to have raised and everyone’s enthusiasm to support what the DHAN Foundation is doing to help low-income communities is a credit to everyone who took part.”

ICMIF Foundation CEO, Sabbir Patel, said: “If ICMIF member organisations would like to engage their staff in fundraising activities to support DHAN then we would warmly welcome such support and in return we would provide regular updates on how any funds raised and donated are being spent helping people in India.”

Over the last year, the financial support provided by ICMIF members has also enabled DHAN to stay connected virtually with its widely dispersed membership base across India. In addition, our support has facilitated the provision of necessary, on the ground support services and prevention advice to communities impacted by the pandemic.

CAMIC, a Canadian ICMIF member, also launched an appeal to its members with the goal of showing that mutuality has no limits, no borders. CAMIC’s goal is a solidarity effort whereby its members are being asked to support this dire need.

Learn more about the ICMIF Foundation here.

ICMIF members wishing to give a financial donation to the ICMIF Foundation and thereby help the DHAN Foundation should contact Tina Blain, Resource Mobiliser, ICMIF Foundation. We would also welcome the opportunities to work with member organisations on similar fundraising initiatives by staff. In return we can send regular updates to your organisation to show how funds raised by ICMIF members and/or their staff are being spent to help the DHAN Foundation in supporting low-income communities in India; providing them with mutual insurance cover; providing education and services to help people lift themselves out of poverty and into a brighter future.

*The ICMIF team walk was organised in line with current Covid-19 guidelines in place at 31 July 2021. Should any ICMIF member organisation wish to organise a fundraising event for the DHAN Foundation then they should check their local/national Covid-19 guidelines or regulations before doing so.

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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