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Provides essential food and support to meet the immediate needs of Jaipur’s most vulnerable children and families in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic.
As a response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government of India has enacted the largest forced quarantine in recorded history. With such a large population relying on daily wage jobs to meet their basic food and housing needs, the situation is difficult for many across the country. The economic impact on local populations is devastating, even more so for the country’s most vulnerable people – children living on the streets, women, and people living below the poverty line; which includes migrant workers.
In the city of Jaipur, there are large slum areas where migrant workers commonly live due to the proximity of these slums to the Main Railway Station. There, migrant communities live in densely populated, unsanitary and precarious housing with limited access to clean water and electricity. Their reality makes social distancing and safe health measures near impossible.
Amidst the pandemic, a national lockdown and mandatory social distancing, migrant workers are being left behind. With many unable to return home to their villages or to continue working in order to feed their families, the situation has gone from bad to worse. With many risking food insecurity, they are continuing to work, and by ignoring government protocols they face police brutality. The increased stress caused by this situation is also seeing a surge in domestic violence and child protection issues.
While local governments have been distributing food assistance packages, migrant workers and their families have no residential proof of identity and cannot access government ration packages for the most at-risk families. As a result, many migrants are returning to work in crowded areas as rickshaw drivers or labouring on construction sites - despite the serious risks of contracting COVID-19. Whatever they do, they are at risk, and without external support, their situations will likely deteriorate very quickly.
Our focus is at the forefront of relief efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. We have developed a three-stage strategy to ensure our efforts reach the most vulnerable families across the regions of Jaipur and Noida.
The first stage is to disseminate up-to-date information and health education messages to communities, particularly children, to raise their awareness and capacities to prevent the spread of the virus.
Secondly, we are providing emergency kits to children and the most at-risk families. These kits contain dry rations for families of six, including high nutrient supplements for infants and pregnant women, as well as essential sanitary items, such as soap, disinfectant and protective masks. These emergency kits are also being distributed to migrant workers and their families.
Thirdly, we are facilitating the use of a government helpline for children in distress, in the hope to support those experiencing increased domestic violence as a result of confinement. This free to use helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is an essential service used by an average of25,000 children each day.
Our teams in Jaipur and Noida have identified genuinely needy families. All of our operations are conducted in consultation and collaboration with the district administrations of each region. Over 7,000 families have already indicated they are in need of dry rations and sanitary supplies. Our aim is to continue these actions and carry on reaching out to extremely vulnerable families.
We are working tirelessly to ensure no child or family is left to bear the burden of poverty and the pandemic alone. Our actions at this time will make a big difference in how people survive the current situation, and we invite you to join us in supporting some of India’s most vulnerable people.