AID’s partners describe how the second wave is affecting livelihoods

As the pandemic rages on, lockdowns will become more and more frequent. Apart from the direct loss of life due to COVID infection, communities are now battling hard to safeguard their livelihoods and stave off economic ruin. In this post, we give brief updates on how AID partners are supporting these efforts. Also read our previous update covering urgent needs on the ground. Your support to AID will help our partners save lives as well as livelihoods.

Training for honeybee keeping in Sittilingi by Tribal Health Initiative partners (April 30)

Tribal Health Initiative, Dharmapuri District, Sittilingi, Tamil Nadu: In order to supplement their agriculture income, many tribal farmers temporarily migrate (3 – 6 months) to big distant cities to work as laborers. This has been drastically reduced because of the pandemic so that they require alternate agriculture-based income sources during this time of hardship. Through an AID-supported program for honey-bee keeping, more than 150 boxes were given to 75 families to keep their alternate earning sources open during the pandemic. 

Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Vadodara, Gujarat:  A large part of this community are daily wage earners. Now that they have lost their jobs and are forced to stay at home due to the COVID restrictions, the people are finding it difficult to procure meals and other daily necessities.

COVID tests for migrant worker families by Swanirvar in North 24-Parganas, West Bengal (May 2021)

Swanirvar, North 24 Parganas (Sundarbans), West Bengal: Thousands of migrant laborers are returning home especially from Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Noida, Mumbai and such other big cities. Many of them are on the road and their families are in the highest level of trauma. Their children are either starving or having a meal once a day. Swanirvar is running community kitchens to provide meals for these children. Moreover they are also running a migrant 24×7 helpline for Sundarban areas. Through this, they are connecting with hundreds of laborers on the road, arranging for their transportation and sharing their whereabouts with their family members residing in remote areas of Hingalganj and Sandeshkhali in Sunderbans. 

Karna-Subarna Welfare Society, Berhampore Murshidabad, West Bengal: Having lost their jobs and faced extreme economic distress during the covid times, migrant laborers are coming back in large numbers. KSWS has been taking an active role in repatriation of migrant laborers, with the help of a WhatsApp AID group, called ‘Stranded Worker Outreach’. They are also providing support with distribution of food products.

Mrs. Tara Ahluwalia (BMCS) distributing urgent ration and food packets to communities. From Bhilwada, Rajasthan (May 2021)

Tara Ahluwalia, Bal va Mahila Chetna Samiti, Bhilwada, Rajasthan: Taraji described the ground conditions as very dire, much worse than the first wave of COVID. For the past one year, working members of the marginalized communities, especially migrant laborers, have lost their jobs. Most of the families have exhausted whatever little savings they had, while looking for work. The lockdown associated with the second wave has been officially declared for 15 days. Now, it is estimated to go on till the end of May. This will create a huge impact on the lives of people in these communities.

Pushpa and Manmohan Singh, Lok Shakti Manch (LSM), New Delhi: The situation is so bad that even maintaining a basic livelihood and employment is getting more and more difficult with every passing day. LSM is assisting with the health expenses in the community and seeking help to expand and continue working on this.

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