Our partner Bhasha Research and Publication Centre has been at the forefront of providing distributing Covid-19 relief items to vulnerable people, through their Adivasi Academy in Tejgadh in the Chhota Udepur district of Gujarat. The Adivasi Academy focuses on studies on tribal communities, primary education and healthcare, and also runs a school, Vasantshala, for out-of-school tribal children.
Food and mask distribution
Bhasha has been providing food relief to the needy to tackle the hunger crisis due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Complementing the food grain distribution of the government, they distributed weekly ration of vegetables and other food necessities to daily wager working families since early April.
More recently, Bhasha has distributed 1500 masks among its staff and families and other local village residents, especially those as vegetable sellers and shopkeepers who work in the public domain and are exposed to more people in Gujarat.
Support for migrant workers
Our profile in courage is of the Tejgadh Sarpanch, Narsinh Rathwa, who is also a staff member of the Bhasha Adivasi Academy and the head of all Sarpanches of Chhota Udepur District, initiated the move to bring back all local migrants back from the various places they had left for labor work. He, along with other Sarpanches in the area, contacted the migrants from various villages and arranged for vehicles to bring them back safely to their homes. They estimate that about 6000 migrants returned back home.
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While the pandemic and the lockdown has caused tremendous suffering in this area, an artwork by artist Mehul Rathwa, a former student of Vasantshala, has gone ‘viral’! Mehul made a clay idol of the tribal leader, Birsa Munda at his village Gunata. The Chhotaudepur DDO visited Mehul at his village, and rewarded him with Rs 5000!