After years of working as a medical doctor and social pediatrician, Dr. Rajeev Seth co-founded BUDS, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the wellbeing, education, health, and welfare of poor and marginalized children in India. The COVID-19 lockdown introduced new hardships for these children, such as food scarcity, while forcing closure of relevant services including, for example, BUDS’s early childhood education drop-in centres in Delhi.
Led by Dr. Seth, the BUDS team mobilized to identify and address the most pressing priorities of the community, starting with emergency food distribution. With that in place, BUDS turned their efforts to adapting their regular programs to continue operating in a remote, virtual format. To serve children who normally attend their drop-in centres, for example, BUDS initiated regular phone calls with children’s parents and thereby shared ideas for home-based educational and play activities. During these calls, the team also provided families with vital, up-to-date information on COVID-19.