Blog / Impact & Interventions,Stories from the Field / Lockdown experiences in Chhindwara

Lockdown experiences in Chhindwara

Prerna Gopal.
Antara Foundation
Published on May 29, 2024 |


Prerna, our Sr. program officer based in Madhya Pradesh shares what lockdown meant for her.On 24th March 2020, when the government imposed a nation-wide lockdown, I was one of the many unfortunate people who were locked away from home. Although I have been in Chhindwara for a while, my heart is always in New Delhi, with my family and friends. As I tried to make sense of the situation, I couldn’t help but wonder what this meant for all those frontline workers I meet every day. How would they face the challenges that lay ahead? Were they protected and safe? Did the people living in untrodden corners of Chhindwara understand what is happening?

I usually spend seven hours a day travelling from village to village, working with frontline workers and government officials. The new normal mandated that I stay put, leaving me with only a phone to stay in touch with them. On the bright side, I had the opportunity to make use of the extra hours I now had to learn and do something different.

I started interacting more with my team members via video conferencing, began diving into new workstreams, and spent spare time learning from veterans in the organisation who are brimming with knowledge.

Photo: Prerna interacting with beneficiaries on a regular day in the field, before the lockdown

One particularly interesting activity that the entire Antara Foundation team took part in was the learning session. Almost every day, from 11 am to 1 pm, the entire organisation would convene over a video call to learn and discuss some of the most pressing topics in maternal and child health. We even signed up for online classes to learn problem-solving skills, as a team. Even if it was for a few hours, life felt normal and I cherished every minute of these virtual interactions with my team.If there is anything that I learnt during the last few months, it is the importance of adapting. It is an underestimated quality that I have now come to value. It hasn’t been the easiest of times, however, the support of my team and loved ones has made it easier.

Disclaimer: The article has been written in personal capacity, and the views and opinions expressed are those of the author




“The best solutions to complex problems often come from those closest to the issues.”