MAKAAM is a national level network, working on the issues of women farmers. In Maharashtra, we have been focusing on the issues of women from farm suicide affected households, women sugarcane cutters, women and land rights, and forest rights. (Find more about MAKAAM here: http://makaam.in/)
Last year during the lockdown, through donations from individuals as well as funds from donor agencies, MAKAAM was able to provide a month’s food supplies to more than 1000 single women farmers in Maharashtra, many who belonged to farm suicide affected households. We were also able to support around 200 women for agriculture inputs for the kharif season. These women have set up kitchen gardens, where they grow chemical free vegetables for food and nutrition security of their family.
Last year, for most of these women, crisis was limited to their livelihood. This year large scale spread of the pandemic in rural areas combined with the lockdown measures has left these women fighting on two fronts.
The present wave has led to large numbers of people being infected in rural areas and increasing number of casualties as well. Healthcare facilities are overburdened, and without transport facilities, people are finding it even harder to access them. Wage labourers are once again without any work, and farmers are uncertain about how they are going to manage cultivation in the new year, which is just around the corner. Accessing credit is a major problem, many are already burdened with loans they have taken for healthcare. Although the state government has promised free ration supply, it has not started yet.
Currently we are in dialogue with the state government, and supporting women and other vulnerable groups to get access to schemes. We have found that due to fear about the disease, many people are avoiding doing tests. Also rumours and misconceptions about vaccination are preventing people from getting vaccinated. So, we are also working on awareness campaigns at the village level.
At the same time, the women we work with – especially the single women – are in dire need of support in order to survive this second wave of the pandemic. Therefore, we are making this appeal to support these vulnerable women in this crisis. Donations collected through this appeal would be used for providing food supplies that are not covered under the ration system to poor, single (widowed/deserted) women farmers and labourers from different parts of Maharashtra.
SOPPECOM (www.soppecom.org) works as the secretariat for MAKAAM Maharashtra, and will take the responsibility of receiving donations and coordinating the process with support from other partner organisations.
If you wish to donate, please contact us on: email@example.com
For further information, please contact: Swati Satpute – 8390861253