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When the COVID-19 pandemic reached India, the country went into lockdown. While this was a shock to those living in urban areas, it was particularly difficult for India’s rural population, most of whom already had limited access to public, health services, information and vital goods and services.
Thanks to the strategic, operational and financial support provided by TRANSFORM, Dharma Life is now in the process of pivoting its model using a digital-first approach and repurposing its network of 16,000 rural Dharma Life entrepreneurs (DLEs) as a crisis response force to respond to these challenges.
The impact enterprise
Dharma Life is a social enterprise which improves the quality of life in rural India through a holistic women entrepreneurship model that provides low-income households and individuals with livelihoods, awareness and access to socially impactful products and services at the last mile. Dharma Life identifies aspiring women, and trains and mentor them through certified programs to become village-level micro-entrepreneurs: the Dharma Life Entrepreneurs (DLEs).
To repurpose the network of DLEs into a crisis response force to support the Government of India in fighting this pandemic by addressing the above listed problems through last mile research, information dissemination and behaviour change, and delivery of socially impactful products at the last mile.
Dharma Life implemented a three-step process that reached vulnerable communities while refining outreach through real-time research and data collection.
Identify the areas of greatest need.
Communicate vital healthcare information, behaviour change content and provide issue resolution support.
Focus on care package delivery and re-establishing the supply chain for essential and social impact goods.
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