COVID-19 Emergency Response Activities
The sudden lockdown imposed by the government to curb the spread of corona virus from March 25,2020 has caused so much trouble to the poor and daily wage getters. These sections of people were leading a hand to mouth existence with their daily wage, which they earn by engaging in all odd jobs. Complete shutdown due to lockdown prohibited them from engaged in any work. These side-lined people never stock food items because their fragile income is too little for them to do that. Food supplies in these families gone out of stock within few days of lockdown putting them in undue hardship.
We have utilized Euro-11,400 to assist 1170 lockdown/Covid-19 affected families in our area. After receiving the vehicle permission from the district administration to move around during the lockdown period, we purchased food materials in bulk and packed it for distribution, which helped us to purchase materials at a cheaper rate. Each food packet contains Each food packets includes rice (5 Kg) Sugar (500 gram), Atta (500 gram),Kadala (500 gram) Uzhunnu (500 gram), cooking oil (500 ml), tea powder (100 grams) Onion (1 kg), Potato (1kg) Salt (500 gram), Masala items and vegetables. While distributing the relief materials we have followed the Covid-19 protocol.
The shutdown/lockdown has created undue hardship to the people, especially to the people in the lowest strata of the society. People who are engaged in daily work for their sustenance and are living in the interior villages are facing a lot of hardship due to the sudden announcement of the lockdown. These families are running short of food grains and other essential items. They lost their source of income- daily labour so they do not have the purchasing power to purchase necessary items for their families. Government has announced different schemes to support the poor and needy but it will take time to reach these underprivileged. These families are leading a hand to mount existence. Our field workers have done a rapid assessment of these families by visiting them and had understood the need for supporting them at this time of need. Most of these families are running short of food grains and are worried about how to feed their children in the coming days. We consider it is our responsibility to support these neglected families at this time of need. The extension of lockdown is a big blow to the poor families and put them in a tough situation. Further we have noticed that widows, handicapped persons, tribal families living in the remote villages of our operational area are in need of our support to purchase basic food grains. These are the advantaged sections of the society. Our organization is working among the disadvantaged Kani tribal families living in the interior villages/hamlets of the district. These tribal families are very badly affected by the sudden lockdown. They are not able to come out of their house to purchase essential materials. Socio-economically they are quite poor and this lockdown has pushed them further. 90 % of these families are now in starvation. Government and other agencies assistance are not reaching them because of the geographic specialty of the place (quite interior) in which they live. The line departments just ignored these tribal families and they are really struggling. It is sad to see the hungry children and feed mothers who are forced to go to bed without having sufficient food. SMIDS office is situated at Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India and merging place of three seas. This place is considered scared for the Hindus and they come and leave their mentally sick family members here believing that they will be cured because of the sacredness of this place. It is sad to observe that more than 18 mentally ill patients, who are out of their normal life, are roaming around Kanyakumari town area. These people are not getting food which otherwise were fed by the public. Lockdown has closed all the shops here, visit of the devotees and tourist to this place also stopped so these mentally challenged are not takes care by anybody. By seeing their pitiable situation SMIDS preparing cooked meals for them and distribute it to the mentally ill patients who are roaming around in Kanyakumari town area and distributing rice and provisions to the poor and needy We consider it as human to reach-out these disadvantaged people.
Beneficiary families were very happy to receive the food packets from SMIDS. They expressed their thanks to SMIDS Christa Saimon, Hilton Fund for Sisters, Michael, Jean Marc, Dominic for the timely assistance to tide over the difficult situation in which they are living. We sisters prepared cooked meals and distributed it to the beggars and other destitute who are living in the streets of Kanyakumari. Relief work initiated by SMIDS is highly appreciated by the district administration and general public.