THE CHALLENGE - Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, our team of rural women volunteers is working non-stop to provide relief to families of migrant sugarcane plantation workers. We are supporting 4000 such families across 100 villages in the Beed district of Maharashtra.
These agricultural daily wage laborers were forced to return to their village from their plantations after the Corona Lockdown was announced. All of them are ultra-poor. Many among them are single women and families with children. They do not have adequate savings or provisions to sustain themselves.
Due to the fear of infection, the non-migrant population in their villages has prevented these families from accessing public wells/sources of water. They have blocked their access to local stores for buying groceries. Most of the workers are sick from the long travel on tractors. The government hospitals are already full and cannot take more patients. The district machinery is only just gearing up towards supporting sugarcane workers in the current situation.
We believe that while the virus may not get these families, but starvation certainly will.
OUR RESPONSE - Despite limited resources, our grassroots community champions have jumped in to provide relief packets to each family. A family packet contains dry ration, sanitation and hygiene products, and basic medicine. We have partnered with the District Collector, District Police, Gram Sabha members, civil society organizations and 10 local wholesale grocery store owners to speed up the relief distribution process. A leading funding organization and a health organization have stepped in to cover support for 1500 families.
OUR APPEAL - We are now appealing to you to donate generously to prevent 1000 families from starvation. A contribution of Rs.1000 will take care of an entire family. As you work remotely, this might be equivalent to the amount you would be saving in commuting or eating out in these times of the Corona Lockdown. The next few weeks are critical for the survival of these families.
ABOUT NAVCHETANA SARVANGIN VIKAS KENDRA - A grassroots community organization, we work with voice-less and ultra-poor marginalized and backward communities of Beed - Dalits, nomadic tribes, de-notified tribes, landless labors, small and marginalized farmers, women and children, handicapped, destitute, migrant sugarcane cutting communities and those affected by large-scale disasters. Covering 160 villages and impacting 50,000 individuals directly through 300 village-level volunteers, we empower individuals in our area through gender, health, and legal awareness, knowledge of government schemes, research, and training to become community champions of change.