During the COVID-19 crisis, people worldwide are helping each other in so many ways, one of which is to make a donation on #GivingTuesdayNow, May 5, 2020, to a group which is reaching out in an unprecedented way to help those who are suffering from the effects of the pandemic.
TRAS has learned that the lockdown in India has drastically affected the poorest people in the Himalayan villages which we support through the Voice of Children (VOC) education projects. Without the minimal day wages earned by the marginalised labour force on farms, construction sites and through street hawking, many poor families and the homeless are facing drastic loss of income, leading to severe hunger and possible starvation.
The Voice of Children educational projects which our partners AMAN and Vimarsh normally run, are all on hold. So the staff and volunteers, working from the towns of Almora and Nainital, in the foothills of the Himalaya, turned their energies to helping out with food deliveries to the most remote villages. They received permission from the local administration to leave their personal lockdowns in order to purchase supplies of dry foods, soaps and sanitary supplies and to deliver these to 200 families and 400 teenage girls. At the same time they would educate the isolated villagers in best practices to avoid catching and spreading the virus.
Then they asked TRAS for help. $5,000 was needed to buy supplies for one month. We quickly agreed to support this wonderful gesture.
In ONE WEEK, the plan was hatched, the needy families identified, TRAS gave the go-ahead, the supplies were purchased and the deliveries are being made, often on foot, to the remote villages. We are so impressed with the initiative and dedication of the staff and volunteers of these two NGOs!
Members of the local government administration were also impressed with the kindness of these volunteers who put themselves at risk travelling around, and In Nainital, one administrator offered a truck to get the goods as far as possible by road and actually joined in the relief effort. Officially the government is providing rice rations, but such schemes rarely reach the isolated villages for a variety of reasons. The Nainital administration has also sought the help of Vimarsh staff and volunteers to deliver much needed food to the urban homeless and to the migrant workers who are trapped in the town by the lockdown and not able to return to their own villages.
We know you, our friends and supporters here in Canada, are also suffering the effects of this virus in many difficult and tragic ways, but if you would like to support this emergency response project, please send a donation to TRAS on #GivingTuesdayNow, May 5, 2020.
The need: $5,000 to cover the food and essential supplies for 200 families and 400 young women.
$20 provides food for a family for 1 month, or sanitary and disinfectant supplies for 11 households.
$100 provides food for five families for 1 month.
Thank you in advance for your continued support. Below you will find a letter from Raghu Tewari, the director of AMAN, and photos of the emergency response action.
April 30, 2020
Greetings from VOC!
We are gratefully thankful for your solidarity and kind generosity at the time of great need. AMAN and Vimarsh completed the emergency relief according to the plan.
On 24th April 2020 Vimarsh has provided the Ration kit to 100 families and Hygiene kit to 200 adolescent girls.
On 27th April 2020 AMAN distributed the Ration kit to 100 families and Hygiene kit to 200 adolescent girls.
Both Organisations distributed the relief material to Voice of Children Project area with the support of Volunteers and VOC team.
Though the magnitude of the crisis is so big, we have focused on the people in dire need. We are thrilled to have your timely support to accomplish the relief work.
Our community and VOC team express the gratitude to TRAS Board Members and Team.
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