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The 21-days lockdown announced by the Indian Government, disrupted the lives of the migrant daily wage workers who were unable to travel back to their respective homes to support their families, nor fend for their daily bread. Good Shepherd Sisters reached out to around 165 families and provided them rice, pulses, oil, wheat flour, sugar, tea and salt, a small ration to last them for about two weeks.
The Sisters and Partners in Mission collaborated with Society of St. Vincent De Paul and Caritas-Goa to reach out to 193 migrant families who work at construction sites and 17 local families of Cuncolim Municipal Area, Ambelim, Bali, and Velim Panchayats. They were able to provide rice, sugar and tea powder.
Harrowing visuals of migrant workers who were thrown out of their jobs and desperately trying to get home - attempting to walk impossible distances without food and money shook our collective conscience. There were 50 families being paid a meager sum of Rs. 10/- per day for their sustenance during this time of lockdown in the brick factories and construction sites. The rations of rice, pulses, vegetables and oil that we provided was a welcome blessing for them.
Through Chalice sponsorship programme we have advanced Rs. 4000/- from each child’s account towards food supplies for 50 families. Further, we provided 25 families with food and hygiene kits and Rs. 1000/- to each of 5 families apart from supporting some senior citizens with medicines. In partnership with Mantra Foundation and Nirmal Niketan College of Social work, 200 food packets were given to senior citizen families at Goregaon, Mumbai. We also prepared 1500 food packets and distributed to the surrounding slum families in collaboration with Prayas Ek Koshish, a Gender equality and Human Rights Organization.
We responded immediately to the people who were stranded from neighboring states especially the construction workers. We connected them to NGOs, providing packed food and also distributed relief materials. We provided food grains and pulses to 100 families of unorganized workers like daily laborers, construction workers, vegetable and fruit vendors, domestic help and to the elderly people from our neighborhood.
CHALICE Canada supports 1100 children for education through the sponsorship programme and specially emphasize on health care of the child and his/her family. During this COVID-19 times, they have guided us to inform the staff to follow the guidelines of the Government and utilize the sponsorship money in the bank to purchase provisions for the family.
Unavailability of sanitary materials and protective face masks is a hazardous challenge.
Food supplies are not reaching on time.
Denial of permission from Government offices.
Difficulty in procuring foreign funds.
Delay in bank transactions.
Through the National Catholic Religious of India, a platform was provided to give our suggestions to the Government of India to collaborate with NGOs.
Provide provisions and sanitary materials to migrants especially those who do not have ration/identity card.
Provide adequate health care to sick, particularly to COVID-19 cases.
Ensure that the salaries are paid to the employees by the private companies and other unorganized workers.
Since many citizens are contributing towards PM’s fund, the Government can involve NGOs and Religious Congregations to partake in relief work by supporting them with sufficient funds.
Duly encouraged and guided by MDO Rome and GSIF, we are happy to undertake an emergency project at four sites where people are mostly affected due to COVID -19.