COVID pandemic has changed our lives, the way we think and the way we work. A lot of things will not be the same for a long time to come. At MSSI we can confidently say that in spite of this unprecedented global health adversity that impacted people world over we were able to find opportunities which helped us to stay connected with a lot of members meaningfully by leveraging technology and digital medium.
With the onset of COVID and mobility restriction followed by complete lockdown all our plans to do in-person activities not only had to be suspended but we had to recalibrate those activities in order to be compliant with various central and state advisory of India COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.
We have been working very hard to stay in touch with our members as well as reaching out to the larger MS community in India both at the National and regional levels. Our chapters are constantly making efforts
- To ensure ration and medical supplies reach the needy
- Conducting Teleconsultations for MS persons
- Online Physiotherapy sessions
- Recreational programs
- 1 on 1 Q&A sessions with Neurologists and specialists
At the National level, we are conducting Webinars addressing concerns of Persons with MS cutting across geographical boundaries. Some of the most popular webinars and videos included:
- Interactive session with Neurologists and specialists
- Interactive sessions with government agencies and officials
- Meditation of Self Care
- Pranayam – Yogic Breathing for Multiple Sclerosis
- Joy of Mandalas
- Musical evening
- MS and Low Self Esteem (in multiple languages English, Hindi, Punjab, Bengali, Kannada)
We have also been able to work closely with our Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee members comprising leading neurologist working in the area of MS particularly. In spite of their extremely busy schedule and handling COVID related health crisis, they have been able to put together a recommendation for Assessing MS while issuing disability certificates
On 30th August 2020, MSSI launched its first Advocacy Campaign called Reassess MS. The campaign focus was on the gaps in the current assessment guideline under Rights of a person with Disability Act, 2016. It was designed to reach our stakeholders and included Ministries, Government Departments, Disability sector organisations, Health professionals, MS persons and general community
We have been conducting a series of Capacity building workshops in the areas of Leveraging Social media platform, Understanding international and National Disability Laws and Rights by domain experts.
We were able to sensitize government officials engage with Disability Commissioner of most of the states we work in.
Since then we have been consistently engaging and have sent representation to Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to review the current assessment guidelines, we have sent our inputs for the union budget to Ministry of Finance.