This update is from Mrs Tara Ahluwalia, founder of BMCS. Bal Evam Mahila Chetna Samiti works to support and empower female survivors of violence in the Bhilwada district of Rajasthan. They swung into action during the COVID crisis last year and are actively engaged in relief efforts.
Status of general activities: Most of the staff and volunteers at BMCS have been indisposed for almost a month now due to COVID. Important campaigns such as prevention of child marriages have been scaled down and a lot of project-related activities have been delayed or re-prioritized due to the pandemic. Taraji herself, fully vaccinated now, has been very mobile and is interacting with a lot of communities in various bastis.
Health update: Taraji has been greatly distressed by the enormous need for relief on the ground. She receives calls everyday requesting support for oxygen, hospitalization, medicines or food. Strict lockdown enforcement has made it difficult to get around and provide support. Hospitals have no ventilators or oxygen beds available leading to people dying on the roads. While there is major under-reporting of deaths, the dead have nowhere to go, with crematoriums being full amid reports of people being charged exorbitant prices to transport the bodies. The health system itself appears to be on a ventilator, says Taraji.
Economic needs: For the past one year, working members of the marginalized communities, especially migrant laborers have been grappling with the effects of the lockdown enforced during the first COVID wave. 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 but is estimated to go on till the end of May. This will create a huge impact on the lives and livelihoods of people already suffering.
BMCS plans to provide rations, cooked meals, and nutrition for small children in these communities, as well as organize food support for volunteers and law enforcement officers. There is also an urgent need for PPE, sanitizers, medical equipment such as oximeters, thermometers and medicines. You can support the work of BMCS by donating to AID’s COVID relief efforts.Latest updates on COVID relief Donate to COVID Relief Fund