Coronavirus Crisis Appeal
With rates of COVID-19 infections increasing rapidly in India and Nepal, so too is an increase in violence, discrimination, hunger and unemployment.
The lockdown in India left 400 million daily-wage labourers, the majority of whom are Dalits, with no income, source of food and, for many, no way home.
Seen as “untouchable”, many are facing increased discrimination and social rejection on their long walk back to their villages from the cities they were forced to find work in, with a 72% recorded increase in violence against Dalits during this pandemic. For those that do make it home to their villages, even their own communities are turning them away for fear of infection, often also enforced violently.
These mass migrations across the country will continue to introduce the virus to even the most isolated rural communities. For these people, proper health awareness and sanitary practices are already low and, compounded with their poverty, hugely increases their vulnerability. It is likely that the incoming monsoon season will magnify the spread of the virus even more.
We don't know how long this crisis will last. What we do know is that the most vulnerable communities will suffer the most. Our aim is to raise £500,000 in order to meet this urgent need.
As we listen to our partners in-country and try to navigate this crisis, we are developing a plan to make sure donations are used in the best way possible. This is still a “work in progress” but we can say that, at this stage, these are our priorities.
Immediate Emergency Response
Our first priority is to support those directly impacted by the crisis. This includes:
- Distributing emergency supplies, food kits and sanitation equipment
- Communicating health awareness (and emergency sanitation facilities) for vulnerable communities at risk from infection
- Working closely with local Governments to ensure emergency relief reaches the most isolated communities
- Protecting women and girls vulnerable to an increased risk of violence during lockdown
- We will be providing additional educational support for children returning to school post-lockdown, with particular emphasis on preventing adolescent girls dropping out due to increased pressure on livelihoods.
Rebuilding Gender Equality
- By providing support and counselling for women and girls from families disproportionately affected by the crisis, we will be ensuring as many women as possible are protected from violence and trafficking as a result of reduced family incomes. For these girls, ensuring their return to school is not just essential, it is life-saving.
- The loss of livelihoods and income with millions of men returning home will massively increase economic hardship for those already in poverty. By focusing on developing new livelihoods and improved conditions for daily wage labourers in marginalised communities, we will support them to achieve greater family security and improved opportunities for health and education.
Global Cooperation, Collective Vulnerability
The crisis is a global issue, and while the communities we work with may live in the margins, their health and well-being affects us all.
We will be doing everything we can to meet the increasing need in India and Nepal - but we need your help to respond. Please, support us by making a donation below so that we can make sure the most vulnerable families survive this crisis.