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Press Release | 226 districts adversely impacted by COVID-19 as rural India faces heat :: Reveals study by Samhita Social Ventures

~ The first 1.6 million cases in India took about 6 months, the next 1.6 million cases have occurred in less than 1 month ~


Mumbai, September 2nd 2020 – Samhita Social Ventures, a leading social sector consulting firm, has released ‘Chasing the Virus’ – COVID-19 Trend Review Report. It showcases the recent trends at a district level to understand the larger impact due to COVID-19. The study was conducted as part of its ‘India Protector Alliance’ (IPA) initiative, which is in partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and RBL Bank.

The statistics in the report reveal that while the COVID-19 cases were prevalent in the bigger cities initially, the virus spread is significantly higher in smaller districts, towns and rural areas. The review period of the report has been between July1, 2020 till August 17, 2020. The data revealed that 95% of new active cases and 63% of fatalities due to COVID-19 occurred in districts outside the big 11 districts. On the basis of these findings, Samhita has identified 226 districts across India that needs immediate attention. The district mapping has been done keeping in account for 95% of active cases growth and 66% of fatalities.  Since the virus has moved to the smaller districts, governments, philanthropies and corporate CSR need to meet this challenge by focusing on them. The study also projects that India will have over 100,000 fatalities by end of September 2020.

A quick analysis of the priority districts reveal that the worst affected states due to COVID-19 are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala, Bihar and Odisha. These states together represent 60% of India’s GDP. The report has defined Big 11 districts as Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Chennai, Delhi (the whole state), Bengaluru Urban, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Gurgaon and Noida. These districts have been the focus of COVID-19 battle from corporate CSR and philanthropies, but are now seeing significant drop in active cases.

Priya Naik, Founder and CEO, Samhita Social Ventures, said, “We believe that the economic recovery of India and associated uptick in demand as well as corporate earnings are intricately linked to the COVID-19 situation in the country. However, the report suggests that while big cities are showing decline in active cases, the fight against the virus is far from over, and we now have to take the battle to the smaller districts, rural areas and towns. Given that India’s healthcare system is concentrated in the large urban centers, this presents a substantial challenge in the upcoming months. We believe the government alone cannot be responsible for this battle and philanthropies, corporate CSR and other donors across need to come together, to strengthen the healthcare system in the smaller districts.”

IPA recommends a three-pronged approach to donors to help in the battle against COVID-19: Prevent,

Prepare and Provide

  • Prevent – Encourage behavior change to proper and consistent usage of masks, good sanitation practices and social distancing
  • Prepare – Support COVID-19 training of doctors, nurses, health workers in small district (especially smaller clinics, nursing homes, small hospitals)
  • Provide – Provide key medical equipment and focus on providing oxygenation and respiratory equipment


An initiative of Samhita, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and RBL Bank, the India Protectors Alliance is a collaborative of companies, philanthropic foundations, governments and experts, to help the country tide through the COVID-19 crisis. Our mission is to create resilient healthcare and sanitation ecosystems with a three-pronged approach – Prevent, Prepare and Provide.

Samhita Social Ventures is a social sector consulting firm which collaborates with various stakeholders to develop and deliver impactful, sustainable and scalable solutions. Along with their non-profit initiative Collective Good Foundation, they have strategized and executed impactful social interventions for companies across sectors and across the geographical landscape of India.

Chasing the Virus

As we continue to get back to functioning in the ‘new normal’, we wanted to bring your attention to the situation on ground and share some insights based on facts that belie our growing sense of relief and inclination to now look beyond the virus.

Although we are witnessing a reduction of active COVID-19 cases in metro cities, the fight against COVID-19 is far from over as it spreads in the smaller districts. We have published a research report, Chasing the Virus, to help you make an informed decision on where you can make the most impact with your support in the fight against COVID-19.

Read the full report – bit.ly/chasingthevirus

Tech4raj 2016

Deadline: January 24, 2016

Startup Oasis is organizing tech4raj-2016 and inviting applications from all the NGOs and Social Enterprises in the below mentioned sectors –

Agriculture, Food & Dairy, Healthcare, Waste Management, Education, Affordable Housing, Handicrafts, Cleantech, Water & Sanitation, Livelihood.

tech4raj is a competition to encourage innovative prototypes/product innovation and ideas/startups by providing not only cash rewards and exposure but also hands-on supprt to commercialize and scale the idea/prototype.


  • Prototype or idea has to be in the above mentioned sectors only.
  • Prototype or idea has to have revenue model associated with it
  • Entries from all over India are accepted but only those will be shortlisted which have operation or planned operations in Rajasthan
  • 2 persons / team can’t send separate entry for same prototype. In such case only 1 entry will be considered
  • 1 person/team can submit more than 1 application for different prototype
  • Top 5 teams need to attend bootcamp and Udaipur Startup Fest on 5th and 6th February 2016. Accomodation and food facility will be provided by Startup Oasis.

For details on the application procedure, visit the link here.

Scottish Government International Development Small Grants Programme

Deadline: November 25, 2015

Scottish Government International Development Small Grants Programme is inviting International Development Agencies to advance their work overseas and encourage their growth.

Eligible Countries: Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Indian States of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.

Focus Areas

  • Arts, Culture & Sport
  • Economy
  • Health & Social Care
  • People & Society
  • Built Environment
  • Education & Training
  • International
  • Public Sector
  • Business, Industry & Energy
  • Environment
  • Law, Order & Public Safety
  • Research
  • Constitutional Reform
  • Farming & Rural Issues
  • Marine & Fisheries
  • Statistics

Eligibility Criteria

International development agencies and Scottish-based Non-Governmental Organizations from the above mentioned countries are eligible to apply for the grant.

Interested applicants can apply by reading the instructions provided here.

Global grant cycle on youth development

Deadline: Closed

Epic Foundation introduces a new global grant cycle for innovative organizations working on youth development in selected countries. Grants are given to non-profits, NGOs and social enterprises that work with children and youth by advancing their access to education, healthcare, rights and economic opportunities.

Organizations selected will be eligible to receive multi-year grants ranging from $50,000-1,000,000.

Countries from this year’s selection include India, Brazil and the United States. The selection process occurs in 3 stages. The first is an online application process which will be followed by more advanced screening.

Submit your application here.

TATA Social Enterprise Challenge 2014

Deadline: November 15, 2014

TATA social enterprise challenge is a joint initiative by the TATA group and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM Calcutta) to create an ecosystem for social entrepreneurship and encourage sustainable, scalable and measurable social impact.

The challenge invites social entrepreneurs from across India, who either have an early stage venture or an idea with a proof of concept. The proposed venture needs to have a sustainable business model that creates social impact. There is no restriction on the business model and it can be for-profit, not for profit or even a hybrid model.

The challenge has three stages:

  1. Impact Proposal Round – In this round, teams will need to submit an ‘Impact Proposal’ through the website. The proposal is a detailed business plan format that has been developed to capture the needs and the impact created by any social venture.
  2. Semi-Finals – On clearing the Impact Proposal Round, a maximum of twenty teams will be invited to pitch to a panel of esteemed judges consisting of Social VCs, Social Entrepreneurs and faculty from IIM Calcutta.
  3. The Grand Finale – A maximum of ten teams will be selected for the Grand Finale and will pitch to a panel of esteemed judges, consisting of TATA Business Leaders, CEOs/Founders of Social VCs, Social Entrepreneurs and faculty from IIM Calcutta.

Business plans for the competition will be invited for all sectors including the following focus areas:

  • Agriculture, Food and Dairy
  • Healthcare, Water and Sanitation
  • Technology and Development
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Handicrafts
  • Energy
  • Microfinance/Financial Inclusion

For more information on the application procedure, visit the website here.

Expressions of Interest are invited for appointment of a Cluster Management & Technical Agency

Deadline: August 20,2014

Expressions of Interest (EOIs) are invited for appointment of a Cluster Management and Technical Agency (CMTA) for development of Bhagalpur & its adjoining areas as Mega Handloom Cluster in Bihar under Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS).

The Cluster Management and Technical Agency (CMTA) will be selected through two stages of competitive bidding process – Technical bids and the Financial Bids.

The nature of the proposed project warrants proactive technical and managerial assistance on “concept” to “commissioning” basis, for which a Cluster Management & Technical Agency (CMTA), having proven capability in terms of technical, managerial, financial, infrastructure and capacity building expertise that are required to design and execute cluster oriented interventions shall be engaged

The CMTA will proactively work with the cluster stakeholders and the SPV in implementation of the interventions.

For more information on the application procedure, visit the link here.

A workshop on impact assessment

Deadline: April 3, 2014

Attend if you are a social entrepreneur!

UnLtd India is an incubator for social entrepreneurs that finds funds and supports early-stage social entrepreneurs to help them:

  • Develop as leaders
  • Accelerate their impact
  • Prepare their organizations for scaling and further investment

UnLtd India is conducting a series of workshops geared to build your skills to launch a high impact organization. If you are a passionate individual and committed to building a social enterprise (for profits, non-profits or hybrids), come along to the workshop(s) that suits you!

Since 2007, UnLtd India has supported over 100 organizations and over 170 individuals to develop their social impact vision into reality.

Event details:
Date: April 3, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Address: UnLtd India Office
3rd Floor, Candelar Building
Mount Mary STEPS, Bandra (West)
Mumbai, Maharashtra – 400050

Please RSVP for the event here

Key takeaways from CSR in Healthcare – Making it Work conference

Samhita Social Ventures would like to present the learnings and key takeaways from CSR in Healthcare – Making it Work conference. The event held at U.S Consulate General, Mumbai on December 12, 2013 aimed to assist companies to play a larger role in socially relevant healthcare interventions.

This paper documents information and learnings from the conference, namely the major issues in healthcare in India, what companies can do to impact the healthcare sector, some best practices from the field and a framework that companies can use to design their CSR programs. The document particularly highlights the big messages from the conference backed by preliminary secondary research.

Click here to read the findings from the event.