Don Bosco Relief Services COVID 19 Response INM–Province Weekly Update 5 from SURABI

The Nation has been under lock down for the second phase now, taking a toll on human lives and sufferings, however, those with underlying social, economic or physical vulnerabilities suffer the most. Inaccessibility to markets and no daily wages has led to an acute shortage of food materials in poor households. This is where the NGOs have come to play a major role in supporting the Govt. to reach out to such individuals who are finding it hard to meet their ends meet. INM DBRS (SURABI) is committed to holding on to the lessons of serving the most marginalized, in the fight against Coronavirus. 1. Job loss looms over hundreds as COVID-19 brings tourism to a standstill in Andaman Islands 2. As the Nations Come Together, India’s Transgender Community Fights COVID-19 Alone 3. Private Sector Partnership in fight against COVID 19 4. COVID-19: Most vulnerable communities face “a crisis within a crisis” in Northern Tamil Nadu.
    "Social distancing is not just for the sick, but for each and every person, including you and even your family," said our PM Modi in his nationwide address. Yes...this is very true. But that might work for India's middle and upper classes, who can hunker down in their condos and houses, preen their terrace gardens, eat from their well-stocked pantries and even work from home, using modern technology. But not for the 1,079,414 persons who live in the slums of Chennai, Physical Distancing is going to be physically and economically impossible. Their situation is desperate. Their tiny homes have no running water or toilet, and families are low on food -- and when they don't go to work, they don't get paid. On the one hand, the close proximity of their houses – tents, some as small as a car shed – will cause corona virus to spread rapidly. On the other hand, without their daily income, they are struggling to make ends meet.
    The following were helped: 840 migrant workers 2003 Daily wage Labourers from tourism sector & Slums 159 Transgender People 775 Senior Citizens 980 Children INM DBRS COVID-19 SUPPORT SO FAR - Hygiene Support 6955 Individuals provided with Face Masks Thermal Scanning completed for 3600 Individuals 500 Individuals provided with Dignity Kits 4320 Individuals provided with Hygiene Kits 3463 Families provided with Hygiene Kits Food Support 10865 Families provided with Dry Ration 3590 Individuals Served with Cooked Food 200 Families provided with Special Baby Kit 1418 Families provided with Special Children Kit 100 Individuals served with Nutritious Food Counselling Support 45 IT HR Personnel given counselling assistance 27 Migrant Labourers given counselling assistance

    The Tourism Industry in the region incurred a massive loss due to the corona virus outbreak. Data provided by the Union Home Ministry shows the revenue generation in the tourism sector (including airfare) in the Andaman Region is nearly Rs 100 crores every year. Women participate in the tourism economy as vendors, artisans, and are part of the tourism supply chain, However, the nature of this work is highly precarious and completely dependent on the volume of tourist footfall. The impact of the pandemic and the subsequent lock down has been unprecedented, leaving women workers in a grave situation. Don Bosco Relief Services reached out to such 188 women headed families from 6 villages near Ferrargunj, Andaman.

    Transgender persons (The term transgender is an umbrella term which includes binary trans men and women, non-binary people, genderqueer persons and gender non-conforming persons), most of whom are daily-wage earners feel just as stranded and helpless as migrant workers who are walking back home. The lock down has made it impossible for them to continue their daily work of Basti Badhai* ( *Basti Badhai is a traditional source of livelihood among transgender and intersex community, wherein they give their blessings for any celebrations among families, such as births, marriages etc) and left those who relied on begging in a worse situation.

    The rapid spread of the corona virus has wreaked havoc on businesses in India and crippled normal life. Social distancing is not just for the sick, but for each and every person. The densely populated areas, in particular, are more vulnerable. The lock down has a devastating impact on the slum dwellers. Daily wage – earners like manual labourers, scrap collectors, rickshaw pullers, auto rickshaw drivers, women domestic workers etc. This phase of uncertainty is over food and income in the city left this daily wage sector jobless. Rs. 1000 provided by the government would be suffice? Don Bosco Relief Services reached these most affected communities through various interventions.

    And will continue to do so! Help us Help Them!

    News Posted By

    Dominic Matthews

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