Challenges faced by the poor communities during lockdown

Women walk through a deserted village in India during the lockdown, April 2020.

COVID-19 and the lockdown have decimated incomes and threaten the food security of India’s rural population.It has been more than a month since India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced a complete lockdown across India with just a few hours’ notice. At the time of his announcement, the country had no more more than a few hundred cases of COVID-19. However, Modi felt the country could not afford an outbreak of the virus. This is true, given that we have among the lowest access to and quality of healthcare in the world.

Here is the foundation that helps a lot to the poor people:

Mann deshi foundation:

Mann Deshi is a rural women’s organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of women. We are located in Mhaswad, a drought-prone area of Maharashtra. We run the country’s first cooperative bank for and by rural women, 20 business schools, and chambers of commerce that help women micro entrepreneurs set up and grow their businesses. They also run a community radio station that reaches about 100,000 people.

The Prime Minister asked communities to band together and support each other. For the poor, who have few financial resources and no income coming in, this is an enormous ask. But we have been deeply inspired to see, all around us, thousands of acts of kindness and resilience. Small and marginal farmers have begun distributing their produce free of cost to vulnerable families in their villages; neighbours, who have barely enough to feed their own families, have begun sharing their vegetables from their kitchen gardens; and when our grassroots workers came up with a list of over 10,000 families who were facing food insecurity, a generous funder and community volunteers stepped forward to support the most vulnerable with essential food and hygiene items.

While immediate food relief is a concern, so is safety. Since income had dried up for most women, our field staff wondered about the possibility of making masks as a source of livelihood for some.

Here are some people who work with their own creativity

Roopali Pavnikar, whose T-shirt making business had been suspended, offered her machines to cut large swathes of cloth.

Ranjana Kulshetty, who makes jute bags, offered her 10 sewing machines to start making masks.

Accredited social health activists (ASHA)

It monitors the health of their villages. These are our nation’s front-line healthcare workers; tens of thousands of women who live in every Indian village, and who go door-to-door monitoring the health of their community. Unfortunately, they are also amongst the most poorly paid government workers. During this time, they regularly visit up to 100 households each, collecting detailed medical information and reporting COVID-19 cases or suspected cases to the state. And they are doing this with no protective gear. We have distributed masks and sanitizer to about 1,200 women and are setting up a counselling and support service for them.

Those poor people are struggling a lot lockdown for poor people means more hunger, no food. So there is some foundations and help centres who gave food to eat clothes and who are facing financial crisis.