By Sambit Rao, Administrative Support – Ministry of Good Samaritans, India (A program partner of Outreach International) 

Photo credit: Outreach International

Featured Photo Credit: Outreach International

Community leadership is an important characteristic. Community leaders take responsibility for the well-being and improvement of their communities.

“Community leadership is the courage, creativity and capacity to inspire participation, development and sustainability for strong communities.”

Sir Gustav Nossal

As soon as the nationwide lockdown in response to COVID-19 came into effect, the Indian villages were mostly affected. India’s stringent lockdown has amplified economic distress in rural communities, where most residents work in the informal sector —farmers, casual laborers, migrated laborers, and a long list of other tenuous jobs — and depend on day-to-day earnings to provide for their families. Slowed economic activity has thrown many of these families into an even deeper state of precarity. The Covid-19 pandemic took away the livelihood of many community members.

During this period the leaders mobilized with different government and non- government agencies for relief distribution. The leaders wrote request letters and application to access funds and relief materials from the agencies. During the relief distribution work the leaders voluntarily helped by arranging the relief distribution work, helped in maintaining social distancing and all other activities necessary for effective distribution.  

During the COVID-19 lockdown, the HDFs (Human Development Facilitators) communicated with the leaders through phone calls and guided them to spread awareness and the safety guidelines in their respective villages about this pandemic situation. The leaders then made door to door visit and communicated with the community members and told them about the safety guidelines and instructions like washing of hands, maintaining social distancing and usage of masks. Without the community leadership this was not at all possible. 

Photo credit: Outreach International

Therefore, developing leaders is how we build a strong community of individuals that can work together to achieve goals.