In an unprecedented lockdown such as the present one while focusing on testing facilities and improving the medical facilities for treatment of COVID-19 is important, it is equally important to address the economic and social impacts, especially on the poor through sustained and decentralized actions.
The lockdown has left several of the poor and migrant workers without food and cash.
Work on the farms has come to a complete halt, and agricultural labourers are left with no cash to buy food. Single women, widows from farm suicide affected families are the worst affected in times of such a crisis. Several have no ration cards or Jan Dhan accounts and thus are not able to avail of any of the new schemes announced by the government.
In Maharashtra, MAKAAM works among the single and widowed women farmers from farm suicide affected areas, with sugarcane cutters and with forest workers.
We are constantly engaging with the State and Central government. It is also extending support to migrant workers stranded in the state through extensive coordination.
The State government is doing its best and as a civil society group we are supporting the efforts in different ways.
While the government streamlines its food distribution, at MAKAAM we have vowed to support 500 single and widowed women who do not have ration cards and are struggling to avail of benefits from the government.
We propose to give each one of them a kit comprising the following supplies for one month:
- Basic food supplies such as food grains and pulses
- Oil, salt
- Soaps and hand sanitisers
SOPPECOM (www.soppecom.org) works as the secretariat for MAKAAM Maharashtra, and will take the responsibility of receiving donations and coordinating the support process with the other partner organisations working on the field.