Decentralized Corona Relief: In every slum and village there are families who just manage to survive one day at a time. They have no money to buy food for a week. Often they don't have enough even for a day. With the Corona curfews and lock downs, they have lost even that little income. What can we do to support them?
Unlike in other disasters, centralized procurement and distribution is tricky.
Today our AID INDIA field workers from the nearby area distributed food and essentials supplies (rice, dal, oil, sugar, saly, soaps, biscuits) to 30 families in kuppaikaran colony in perungalathur. These families are contract workers who clean garbage in the city and when our field people visited yesterday they found most of them had gone out to clean the garbage and collect plastic bottles. So today morning our team purchased the supplies and distributed it.
Today, our team identified and distributed provisions to 110 families in Choolaimedu (15 families), Kuppaikaran Colony (30 families), Ganeshapuram slum (30), PM Darga + Rotary Nagar slums (35).
AID INDIA field workers who live in or near these areas, visited these families to identify who had no food or money. Then we transferred funds to our field workers who went to the nearby shops and purchased the provisions for 6 days and then went and supplied it to each of these families.
Many poor families in slums and villages are without food and money, during this lockdown. Our local field workers in slums and villages have been distributing food provisions to such families. Yesterday we distributed provisions to 110 families and today to 50 families.
We are following a Decentralized Corona Relief Distribution plan. We send small amounts of money to our local field contacts. They buy from a local grocery store and supply to families in their area that need it. Provisions for a family for a week comes to around Rs. 1500 per family (Rice, dal, oil, soap, etc)
AID INDIA has provided food provisions for a week to 358 poor families till yesterday (26 Mar). Details of distribution yesterday:
- 22 families in Nagai (12 boom boom matukarangals + 10 conservancy workers) though Vanavil team
- 40 families in Pallakkumanagar Chennai through Maarimuthu
- 25 families in Nochikuppum Chennai through Ethiraj
- 10 families in RA Puram through Bharathi
- 9 families in Kosavanpettai, Kodungaiyur and Ooty
- 117 tribal families in Tiruporur through Thoon Vasughi and Selvam
One of our volunteers met these migrant workers from Jharkand who are at staying at Kannathur. They have not had food for several days. They have also been asked to vacate as they can't pay rent now. We just supplied them food provisions that will hopefully last them for a week. They wanted to send a mesaage to Jharkhand Govt to find some way for them to go back home. So our volunteer recorded it as well. Not sure that's possible anytime soon though! We will keep in touch with them and see if they need anything later.
Yesterday, our AID team in Orissa reached out to 20 tribal families Adashpur, Cuttack district and several homeless women in Old Bhubhabeswar. The tribal families are nomadic and have no documents and so ineligible for govt relief. Our volunteer took a video of one of them explaining their state. I cannot understand a word of what they are saying, but just the video is self-explanatory. Lakhs of such people are going hungry everyday. Terribly saddening.
We just got 250 masks (N95 masks) for Stanley Govt Hospital doctors and nurses. One of our volunteers Harshitha (Stanley student and my old student) has been coordinating with a team of medicos at Stanley to provide protective equipments. They have arranged gloves, protective suits, 3ply masks and N95 masks and other protective materials for the doctors and nurses who are treating Corona patients.
Many poor families are going hungry due to this massive lock-down. Many have reduced their food to just eating 'rice-kanji-(water)'. Our local volunteers are identifying these families and supplying them food provisions for a week.
Today our team provided food provisions for a week to 143 poor families that were going hungry. Totally so far since the lock-down, we have now provided food provisions to 621 families.
Our Strategy: The scale of this lock-down disaster is huge. Govt must supply rations to everyone in all poor communities. But as a small organization with limited resources, we cannot do that. So we focus on reaching the poorest who need immediate help. Our strategy is to NOT SUPPLY food provisions to entire communities at one time. Though most of are poor, many have food for a few days and will hopefully get Govt rations soon.
But within each village or slum, there are 5-10 families that are going without food right now. We identify them and supply food provisions for a week. We realize that during this long lock-down, others in the community may also soon start going hungry. So our volunteers will keep checking on the entire community and arrange food support as the need arises.
Led by our AID Odisha coordinator, Dhanada, our volunteers and partners have reached food provisions to over 100 poorest families in Odisha.
* AID volunteer Arun reached out to homeless people living on the streets of Old Bhubaneswar.
* Through our field partner, Yuva Vikas we reached food to a children's orphanage and many poor families in villages near Balasore
* Another field partner, GSS, reached into remote villages in Adaspur in Cuttack district and Siha in Jajpur district.
* With help of volunteer Srikanta Bhai, we supplied food provisions to many poor families in Rajkanika village in Kendrapara district.