On 24 March 2020, a nationwide lockdown for 21 days was initiated in India, limiting the movement of 1.3 billion people as a preventive measure against the Coronavirus pandemic. With an increasing number of Corona cases in India, the lockdown was imposed with section 144 to prohibit the gathering of groups across the country.
With the recent lockdown putting a halt to our movement, some of us have quickly adapted to working from home, while a large part of our daily wage workers haven’t been able to do so. Since their incomes were largely dependent on their daily labour, many of them have found themselves completely bereft of funds, and consequentially, food.
Recognizing this growing need for food during the lockdown, NGOs across the country came forward with their food distribution initiatives to support the daily wage workers with their rations!
According to a reply submitted by the central government in the Supreme Court, a total of 84,26,509* people were provided meals across the country during the lockdown. Of these, 54.15* lakh people were fed by state governments while the remaining 30.11* lakh were fed by NGOs. Reportedly, these NGOs were active across 13 states and Union Territories. Interestingly, in several states, NGOs have actually been able to match or exceed state governments in terms of food and ration based relief. Most of these meals were provided to stranded migrant laborers and the poor who have been hit the worst owing to loss of income during the lockdown. Overall, there were nine states and UTs where NGOs fed more than 75%* of the people who were provided meals during the lockdown.
Apart from providing meals to the needy, NGOs across the country also opened relief or shelter homes for people to take refuge.
Maharashtra is one of the best examples of how NGOs are contributing to sheltering people hit by the lockdown. Of the 4.47* lakh people who are in relief or shelter homes in the state, 83.6%* percent are in camps set up by NGOs.
Even some of our partner NGOs have been helping in the relief efforts during the lockdown. To name a few, Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust has served more than 9 lakh khichdi packets till date, New Mighty Grace Charitable Trust has been helping migrant laborers and underprivileged communities with ration and food packets, Idea Foundation has been helping the daily wage earners with food packets and ration!
The quick action and preparedness of the Indian NGOs has helped mitigate the migrant and daily wager crisis significantly; however, as restricted living continues to be a norm across India, it could be months before these groups are fully rehabilitated and able to earn independently again. NGOs have been raising funds to support their work, and it’s been heartening to see the kinds of contributions that have been made from all across India. If you are interested in contributing to this cause please check out this list of NGOs working for Covid-19 relief efforts:
- Source — India Today
Here’s a quick link if you wish to make a generous contribution to any NGOs working for COVID-19 relief efforts- https://bit.ly/cfcovidreliefefforts