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India Update

These are the most challenging times in the working history of many of our suppliers in India; for almost 3 months, production and sales have been virtually at a halt. There is little or no government subsidy for those without work and of course no furlough scheme and our suppliers are doing whatever they can to provide food aid and other help.

The situation is grim in India at present. The lockdown has been relaxed, which it had to be for economic reasons, but this has resulted in a surge of cases and deaths in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and in many other cities. The virus is now in every neighborhood, especially in the bigger cities, due to the dense populations there. Many neighborhoods are now containment zones, with new cases emerging each day. In Delhi there are more than 445 Covid-19 ‘hotspots’ where movement is strictly restricted. In total India has had more than 79,000 cases and around 22,000 people have died. Testing has increased, but is still far from sufficient.

Now due to the rainy season, it is extremely hot and humid and other diseases like viral fever are also emerging. Several states are under water, due to heavy rains.

We gave the story of Nandini, a 12-year old girl who died because she could not get treatment – a common story today in India. There have been two more deaths at Tara, Manju, a 45-year old community worker, whose husband was a rickshaw driver, and Ishrar, a 13 year old education sponsorship child. Manju had breathing troubles and by the time she could reach the hospital and get oxygen, it was too late. Ishrar unfortunately died in an accident…Most of the hospitals are still overflowing with Covid patients and it is not easy to get admission. Thousands of Covid-19 patients are in home quarantine now.

In view of the shortage of oxygen facilities and the overflowing hospitals, Tara wants to add some basic emergency oxygen equipment in its health centre in Badarpur, to help people like Nandidi who have related respiratory problems like asthma and other respiratory related illnesses. Tara’s paramedic colleagues continue to help the people in need giving their services free in spite of the huge risks involved.

Tara - Manju (on right, orange scarf)

Tara - food distribution in Delhi slum

Tara CEO Moon helping prepare food parcels

Karm Marg, the home for street children in Faridabad, about 10 miles outside Delhi, has been working with migrant workers, who usually live in shacks by the side of the road and have no work or income because of the lockdown (see photo). The children have all been involved (see photos) and they have come up with an interesting tactic – giving tea and biscuits to the police, who are working especially long hours in the heat because of the crisis. In return the police have helped them to gain access to people in remote areas, whom it would have been impossible to reach otherwise. Children often run away from home when they are hungry; sometimes they are even abandoned by their parents as a result of extreme poverty. Karm Marg has been reaching out to construction sites and similar places where they and migrant workers too are likely to congregate (see photo).

Karm Marg - meals for migrant workers on building site

Karm Marg - food aid for migrant workers

Karm Marg - children helping with food aid

Karm Marg - boys helping with food aid

Now, it is vital that our suppliers have work, and we are doing what we can to bring forward our orders for new products for our 2021 catalogue. All that you can do to buy products from us from suppliers like Asha, Tara, Karm Marg and our other Indian suppliers – as well as those from other countries like Bangladesh, which are in just as dire circumstances – will be truly appreciated. We’ll leave Moon and Koko from Tara to conclude:

Thank you for all your support. Let us hope that we all will come out soon from these tough times. We have to be positive and courageous in our actions to support humanity.

Best wishes

Moon / Koko

Note: if you would like to make a donation to the work of Tara Projects or Karm Marg, you can contact Moon at [email protected] or Rachna at [email protected].

Created On  13 Jul 2020 13:25 in Coronavirus  -  >>


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