(Shivang Tayal MBA ’22)
MBA Student, MIT Sloan School of Management
Shivang Tayal MBA ’22 started a grassroots campaign called Rakshak ki Raksha—Protecting Our Warriors—to assist frontline health care workers in rural India during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The MBA student, whose studies at MIT Sloan are supported by the Ivy Head Family Fellowship, credits MIT for encouraging him to focus his campaign where it would have the most impact. “Helping marginalized women in rural India figure out basic needs such as protective gear was something no one was focusing on,” says Tayal, who is from Hisar, India, 100 miles west of New Delhi.
After the first lockdown was declared in India in 2020, Tayal says Rakshak ki Raksha distributed kits containing sanitizers, gloves, masks, and face shields to as many as 13,000 health care workers across 900 towns and villages. During a second wave of Covid-19 earlier this year, he adds, the project delivered oximeters to 2,400 villages across India.
Most of the frontline workers protected were rural women, the auxiliary nurses and midwives who typically oversee public health and child welfare in Indian villages, and who led containment efforts there when the pandemic hit.
“We wanted to protect them,” Tayal says. “These health care workers put their lives at stake in a system that was not prepared for a deadly pandemic like this.”
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This article was originally published in July 2021.