COVID 19 - Save 100 Migrant Families From Hunger In Gurgaon | Milaap
COVID 19 - Save 100 Migrant Families From Hunger In Gurgaon
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    aman raj
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Will These Poor Families Survive The COVID-19 Pandemic?

Amid the coronavirus crisis, while we are all practicing social-distancing and are working from home, there are many who cannot afford to lose even a day's work. The daily-wage labourers, housemaids and servants are one of the worst hit. Like every other calamity, the Coronavirus pandemic too demands that we look after everyone around us, especially the vulnerable groups.

Today, I spoke to Nancy, a regular student at our Gurgaon project (I have been teaching there for last 3 years), and asked her about preparations for the lockdown. Nancy lives with her family in the slum near Wazirabad, Sector 52A, Gurgaon with her family. Her father works as a gardener and has not been paid his month's salary, forget about any advance. They have supplies that can barely last for a week. After that her family will have no recourse.
After reviewing the situation, we have started a campaign to support the 100 families residing in the slum of Sector 52A, Gurgaon. If you wish to contribute towards that, please go ahead. In our opinion, the need for supplies will arise after 10-14 days.

Overview of conditions in the slums of Wazirabad, Sector 52A Gurgaon:

The people residing in the slums of Wazirabad in Sector 52A of Gurgaon, Haryana are amongst the most impoverished and vulnerable in the country for the following reasons:

  • Most of them are daily wagers who work as domestic helpers, rag pickers and garbage collectors. They have very low income and almost no savings to cope with situations like job loss or medical treatment in case of poor health. They live in abject poverty.
  • Majority of the children are underweight and malnourished. Several suffer from stunting and have weak immunity system. They do not have access to adequate food, nutrition, clean drinking water, healthcare and sanitation.
  • They have limited supplies of rice, essential foods, cooking gas, soaps, sanitizers etc.
  • On average there are 5 people per jhuggi. Each jhuggi is about 10 square meters. High density of people per square meter makes it impossible to isolate/quarantine members of a family within their own home in case there is an outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This poses a special danger to high risk groups like the elderly and children.
  • There are hundreds of jhuggis cramped right next to one another in a small area. Such overcrowding makes attempts to isolate neighbors and others in close contact of potential patients very difficult in the event of an outbreak.
  • Many of them are likely to lose their jobs as Haryana and Delhi NCR enter a lockdown in an attempt to contain the disease and flatten the curve.
  • In the event of job loss, they do not have savings or supplies to last them more than a week to 10 days. The economic consequences for these people are likely to be devastating.
To prevent a humanitarian crisis, it is essential for all stakeholders including Government, NGOs, foundations, CSR departments of private companies, and individuals to step in and provide support at this critical time. As the world grapples with the health and economic consequences of the spread of COVID-19, the dwellers of this slum in Wazirabad area of Gurgaon are particularly susceptible, and need our urgent help. I have taught the children in this slum for over 3 years and know this for sure that this is one of the poorest slums of Delhi NCR. If we work with a spirit of compassion and selflessness, we can help alleviate the suffering of our fellow countrymen at this time of severe trial and tribulation. Let’s work together to make a difference.

The Current Situation:

For now, the situation is under control. All families have supplies for around 10 day. The families surveyed had soaps and they are using it regularly. They have been made aware of the severity of the situation and they are not venturing out.


Most of the dwellers are daily wage earners and the lockdown has translated into loss of jobs for them. These families don’t have much savings and if the situation doesn’t improve, there will be shortage of food and other essential supplies.

Plan of Action:

We are in constant touch with the people there over phone. My friends who have been teaching the students there for over three years reside nearby. According to our estimate, supplies will be needed after 7-10 days because there is no source of income for most of the families and the stored food will run out.
We plan to store some essential items including food material, soaps, gas cylinders etc. These will be used in case of shortage in the slum. We have also apprised the district administration about the situation there and some police personnel have been deputed to oversee the situation. Our apprehension is that there can be delay in supply of goods from the side of administration as they will be overburdened because of the number of slums they’ll have to cater to.

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