RIGHTS is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2008 by Dalit rights activist Ajay Kumar, to serve communities in Kerala that are the most marginalized, particularly the Dalit and Adivasi community. RIGHTS is based in Kerala, and is registered under the Societies Act (Reg No. T1008/2008). RIGHTS also has 12A registration from the income tax department and has fulfilled all statutory requirements.
In the midst of the current pandemic, Kerala is one of the worst affected states in India with more than 80,000 people under observation. 126 of the 716 cases nationally are in Kerala. The most disaffected are the Dalit and Adivasi communities who lack even the basic access to hygiene that is crucial in stopping the spread of the virus. If there is an outbreak of the pandemic in these communities, the scale of suffering it would inflict would be beyond human comprehension.
RIGHTS has been working diligently over the past two weeks to avert such a catastrophe. Since the most basic preventive measure is hand-washing, RIGHTS has set up 85 hand-washing stations throughout the Dalit colonies they serve. There are 26,000 Dalit colonies in Kerala, and 68% of Dalits in Kerala live in these colonies. Most people are day laborers, rickshaw pullers and domestic workers, and it is very important that they engage in vigorous and frequent hand-washing. They have trained community members to keep the containers filled with water, and to wash their hands thoroughly according to WHO recommendations.
RIGHTS has a three part intervention strategy to protect the Dalit and Adivasi community they serve during this terrifying Coronavirus Pandemic:
- Place at least 500 more hand-washing stations in the Dalit colonies where RIGHTS works to educate children and empower women and families.
— Each station costs about Rs. 700 to set up, and hundreds more such stations are needed to arrest the spread of the virus.
- Ensure that the elderly, the frail, and those with chronic health conditions receive the medicines and healthcare they need to stay alive during this pandemic.
—Rs.10,000 would cover medicines for one elderly person for a month, or a chronically sick person for two weeks
- Ensure that every family has enough food to survive. While the Kerala government has promised that everyone will receive food rations to their doorstep during the Pandemic, RIGHTS knows that the marginalized communities they serve are overwhelmingly likely to be overlooked.
— Dry rations for a Colony (or twelve families) costs Rs. 40,000
--PEOPLE IN INDIA can donate directly to RIGHTS through this campaign we created at Milaap.
--PEOPLE OUTSIDE INDIA can donate to Hindus for Human Rights, an organization in the United States, which is partnering with RIGHTS. Americans, your donation is 100% tax deductible. We will ensure that your entire donation directly reaches families served by RIGHTS, and we will provide regular updates.