Thanks to you donors, people in our working areas during the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, have received at least 1 meal a day. In India, people are struggling with lack of support schemes when they cannot work. And, the government's strategy has been to lock in people without special support schemes.
As of June 8th, we have stopped distributing hot food. However, we still distribute food and water as long as the stock lasts.
SevaChildren has so far in this fundraising campaign received:
- Collected through SevaChildren / Mother Foundation US: US $ 10.068, -
- Contribution from partner SOTE (Salt of the Earth) UK: US $ 40,933, -
- Collected locally in India (SevaChildren India): US $ 2.765,- 25.862,-
Total collected as of date: US $ 53.766,-
During the same period we have distributed:
- 20 liter water jugs (drinking water): 2800 pcs
- Hot meals: 75,000 pcs.
- Foodrations for preparation (rice, oil and other): 26 250 pcs.
- Foodrations for preparation - distributed 15.06.2020: 43 750 pcs.
- We have also - in large numbers - distributed soaps, face masks, disposable gloves and other sanitary equipment
A little about the situation in India now - and especially in our working areas:
Although the close down of India is still there - but is expected to be revised on June 30th - many of the restrictions have already been lifted in places where few cases of the coronavirus have been registered. People are able to go to work, but due to lack of public transport, social distance and also due to the great fear of being infected, not many people go to work. In the villages, many have registered for work under NREGA (National Indian Employment Guarantee Act). The only work available under this scheme is manual labor such as removing mud, digging, etc. There are still many villagers who remain without money to buy food and other necessities. There is still a lot of need in the villages. Hence, many still need some food support, even though the problem is now not as serious as before. And, at the beginning of the pandemic, through our employees and first-line workers, we conducted many awareness-raising courses on preventive measures such as sanitation, masks and social distancing.
We have currently changed the focus of our work. From providing immediate food relief, we have now shifted the focus to helping the poor villagers to overcome several other problems they face, such as loss of livelihood, emergency situations with tenants / marginal farmers, increase in gender-based domestic violence, malnutrition as children are deprived as they have free dinner at schools during the day, prevention of school dropouts from children due to long school closures, etc.
We have also given interest-free small loans to all our frontline workers who are from these villages. Many poor farmers in our work areas, who rent land to cultivate from the larger landowners, are not able to get loans because they have no documentation, no land rights etc. We have been able to motivate a finance company to start a branch in the village of Kamandoddi and provide loans at affordable interest rates and with very little documentation to these poor farmers. We have also been able to give some families some goats and some local chickens also to some other families in an attempt to secure their livelihood.
In recent years, we have taken several initiatives for an integrated development of our village communities. This has been the most useful in these times of pandemic, since they have helped to prepare local communities to face such tragedies better. Initiatives such as awareness programs, adult literacy classes and especially digital literacy have been of great help to these poor women. The other is the kitchen gardens, which, although small, provide them with food when they could not get it elsewhere due to closure. Another initiative that has helped a lot in these covid-19 times is the availability of clean drinking water through water purification items that we have set up as well as drinking water wells we have repaired.
We continue our work among India's marginalized peoples in these "covid-19 times", and will regularly keep you updated on our work in the field.
A selection of photos from preparing food for the actual food distribution and distribution of drinking water in our working areas