Write a Case Study on "The Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Mental Health"

The goal of this project was to conduct a research study on the "Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Mental Health" and prepare a case study report that can be submitted to and published in academic journals
Dr.Pradnya Kakodkar
Runs an Independent Research Consultancy. (Husband is a TCS employee)
Pune, India

Pradnya has an experience of 16+ years working as Academician in the field of dental education. She now runs her own research consultancy along with pursuing her Ph.D. in education. Her husband, who is an employee at TCS, recommended ProEngage to her back in 2019. She decided to take a look at the platform once she was relatively free and find a project for which she had the necessary skill sets and background. She found this project required someone with her knowledge, and quickly applied. She lost her father to COVID-19 and thus, to overcome her grief , she chose to get engaged with TATA Proengage volunteer service and thus chose this project to be her first ProEngage project. With 99 research already published papers, Once this project gets published, she will have hit 100 published papers.

Rishav Narayan Singh
Manager - Tata Steel Long Products
Joda, India

Rishav joined Tata Steel in 2019 as a Graduate Engineering Trainee and is now a Manager. He works at the plant, and both field and IT work come under his job description. He works in central mechanics maintenance. This is his second time as a Proengager. He did not possess any research writing skills, but his motivation to join the project was the cause - Covid. He had caught the disease and knew what staying quarantined, away from family and friends, for 20 days felt like. By writing a research report on Covid, he felt he could make a small contribution to the world and all those who have suffered because of the pandemic.

EHM Research Foundation
Dr. Sameer Agarwal (Founder of EHM Research Foundation), Project Coordinator
Ahmedabad, India

Environment, Health and Malnutrition Research Foundation is a research-based nonprofit organization, committed to bringing change in society through innovation, strengthening, reviving, or restoring, where necessary. Dr. Sameer Agarwal is a drug discovery scientist, who started this trust as a way of giving back to society. The people working in the foundation are a group of scientists and engineers. The NGO aims at achieving a clean environment, good health, and removing malnutrition from the country. Their slogan is - "we all deserve clean air"


The Project

The goal of this project was to conduct a research study on the "Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Mental Health" and prepare a case study report that can be submitted to and published in academic journals.

“Everyone from 3-year-old children to working professionals had their lives disrupted by this unprecedented event on a global scale, this made us want to delve into this subject for research. There wasn’t much research on the long term mental health implications of the pandemic, so we thought of covering it in our paper. ”  - Dr. Sameer Agarwal

The Journey

The moment the volunteers matched, they had an online conversation with one another. This is where Pradnya and Rishav instantly clicked and realized that they could work well together. They then scheduled a meeting with Dr. Agarwal, to discuss their deliverable and what the NGO needed them to work on. Once they understood the work, they divided the work among themselves and filled in the project tracker provided by Tata. “This kept us on schedule and ensured we completed our project on time,” Pradnya mentioned.

Their strategy to tackle the task at hand was for each of them to come up with their own formats for the research report separately at first, and then merge them at a later stage. This way they could combine both the reports to create a better format. Since Rishav had no prior experience in research report writing, Pradnya explained to him the jargon and the prerequisites required for a research report. They made sure they set the right expectations for themselves and for the NGO. In addition, the E-Module, provided by Tata, really helped them understand and work efficiently on the project. 

During the first meeting with the volunteers, Dr. Agarwal realized that the volunteers were very enthusiastic and had a zeal to work on the project. They had scheduled meetings once  every 15 days to keep the communication going and to have a status update on the progress made. The team would send their manuscripts via email to Dr. Agarwal for review timely, and he would communicate his feedback over WhatsApp or during their next call. He recalled that this regular communication was what kept the group motivated and stirred the project to a conclusion and on time. 

Both the volunteers enjoyed working with the NGO. They were very appreciative of Dr. Agarwal’s support throughout the project, adding, “His encouragement and acceptance towards our ideas and suggestions were what kept us motivated during the project. He was always willing to get on a call with us whenever we needed, even if it was late and after work hours”. 

Publishing the paper however is not the end of the road, according to Dr. Agarwal. “The trauma of losing people and jobs can have long-term implications on a person’s mental health, and we still need to keep updating our research and add new findings as they come up”, he said.  

Challenges faced

None of the teammates faced any major challenges. However, since Rishav did not have expertise in this field and had work deadlines to meet during the volunteering period, it was difficult to manage at times. Dr Pradnya has supported him in the process and together they ensured that the project reaches completion. 

But the fact that a research paper was being prepared remotely without going into the field to collect data was a challenge. The group tried their best to collect real-time data from sources for their research, and the government’s mandate for having any covid related data freely accessible for people to use was of significant help. 

Thousands of NonProfits have benefited using our platform

We are a nonprofit, and we have not applied for any sort of funding, nor do we get any at this point. Our contributions are only out of our free will and a desire to give back to society. This project with this enthusiastic set of volunteers has helped us grow as an organization, and I have had a wonderful experience of imparting the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years. 

I would definitely use ProEngage again, as the Program itself is brilliant. This clubbed with the volunteer’s educational background, genuine enthusiasm, and drive to work on development projects for the society makes ProEngage a great platform to gain volunteers to add to our cause. 

Rishav’s experience of working with the team was very symbiotic. He was able to learn the nuances of paper writing and getting them published, along with the procedures of getting this paper published from Pradnya, and she was a wonderful mentor to him. He has already applied to the next volunteering cycle with Tata and is engaged with an NGO currently. Furthermore, he is excited to be receiving a certificate from the managing director of pro-engage for his volunteering project. “I will continue to recommend this platform to people. Volunteering gives you an opportunity to contribute something beyond your regular day job. I have applied for 2-3 projects, but I only got one. I love volunteering and would love to take on two projects at a time, but the guidelines allow for only one.” - Rishav Narayan Singh

For Pradnya, this project was right up her alleyway, and she enjoyed being a mentor to Rishav. This was her first time volunteering online and as a ProEngager. “Working with a professional from Tata was definitely a great experience,” she commented. Adding, “I will recommend this for sure to many people, especially my friends. This experience was unique overall. It gives you a new perspective and allows you to contribute towards the growth of NGOs at the grassroots level with minimum skills''. In her recent project with ProEngage, she has got support from her entire family to work long hours and complete the project.