The Covid19 pandemic has caused intense hardship across the globe and has been particularly devastating for poor communities that lack the financial and medical resources to combat the disease. Poor migrant workers in India have been disproportionately affected and this was exacerbated on 24th March 2020 when a Covid-19 related lockdown was declared in India with only 4 hours’ notice. This abrupt declaration led to chaos and stranded 40 million migrant workers, almost double the population of Australia. The effect on these already deprived workers was devastating as it left them with no income, no accommodation, and no safe way to return home.
Some prompt work by India project co-ordinators Susan and Linus Daniel allowed CMaD to quickly engage a new project partner, Reaching Hand, and to support them in delivering a project to provide desperately needed supplies to migrant workers in and around Bangalore. On 11th May, Reaching Hand distributed basic food supplies, masks, and soap to 400 families in the Rachanahalli and Kogilu Layout slums. Local Christadelphians also supported the project and assisted with distribution of supplies. In total 400 families comprising approximately 2000 people benefited from the project.
In a follow-up initiative on 22nd June, CMaD worked with Reaching Hand to deliver basic supplies to ‘daily wager’ families in the Kolar Gold Fields area, who had lost their livelihoods due to Covid-19. Reaching Hand identified 400 families who were living below the poverty line and had loss their source of income due to Covid-19. As with the previous project, Christadelphians from the local area supported the project and assisted with the distribution of supplies that directly benefited approximately 2000 people.
Further food aid distributions by Reaching Hands were again supported by CMaD for two poor slum areas in south and north Bangalore, on the 29th and 31st of July respectively. These slums are severely impacted by Covid, both economically and in terms of cases which have spread rapidly in these densely populated areas.
These distributions assisted a further 200 + 200 families who had earlier been identified as without income, and tokens distributed for them to collect their assistance pack on the following duty. Linus Daniel again attended from CMaD side to witness the distribution.
CMaD has planned to support one further food aid distribution in August with partner Reaching Hand in a slum area that has not received help since April.