Hear from KWS: supporting migrant workers and rural LGBTQ communities
Karna-Subarna Welfare Society is based in Berhampore, in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. They are engaged in an awareness raising programme among rural and LGBTQ communities. This covers areas of Murshidabad, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Nadia, Hooghly districts and Kolkata, West Bengal. Here is an update from Matiur Rahaman, an activist from KWS.
The second wave is hitting hard here, as the villagers, especially, are quite unaware of COVID-19, its symptoms, method of spread, etc. When symptoms occur, they just visit the local doctor. They do not wear masks or use sanitizers, but move around freely in crowded areas. Furthermore, they feel that home quarantine is of no use, and do not follow it. As a result, they are heavily involved in the spread of COVID-19 in their respective villages.
Awareness is spread through megaphones, and distribution of leaflets, masks, sanitizers and gloves, at the village, community and volunteer levels.
Work so far:
- Managing the repatriation of migrant labourers with help and finance supplied by the WhatsApp group ‘Stranded Worker Outreach’
- Awareness raising.
- Helping labourers with food rations.
- Helping admit those in poor health to the hospital.
Current Plans and Needs:
- Supply of medicines to the doorstep of the poor and needy.
- Distribution of cooked food to the homes of COVID affected people.
- Measuring oxygen levels using oximeters.
- Providing oxygen for those in critical need.
Projected Financial Needs:
- Aid is required for milking cows in several blocks. Masks, sanitizers and hand gloves will be collected from the Health Department.
- Support for ration distribution in three blocks at 10 different places, each place costing Rs. 15,000 ($200).
- Support for distribution of medicine, cooked food and other products. The amount is uncertain, as it can vary from place to place.
- Two volunteers for 3 months.
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