As the disaster of the COVID19 virus first loomed over India and the entire country was told to remain at home, Nandri realised that our families were going to be severely impacted. Our poor daily wage workers would be unable to earn any money. Faced with the challenge of supporting our mothers and their families through the total lockdown, we managed to raise 40,000 euro to ensure we could help them survive this catastrophe. Many of our loyal sponsors and also new donors, understanding the severity of the impending crisis, have given so generously to Nandri. Here are some of the many ways this money has helped us to help our mothers and their families and also to aid the wider poverty stricken community in Tamil Nadu.
The COVID19 fund has been invaluable to all our families. It enabled us to commence many emergency projects to feed, educate and protect our families as well as other very poor villages in our region. Immediate financial aid was distributed to all our families. Joe, our CEO in India, traveled around 87 villages in Tamil Nadu, distributing 500 rupees for each mother to the leader of the mothers groups. In total we have provided emergency financial aid to 4721 mothers. With this money our mothers will buy 10kg of rice, 1 litre of cooking oil and other essential food items. This will feed a family of 5 for 10 days. Without this money our families would have gone hungry. If one of the mothers is going through a particularly challenging time, the other mothers in the group will rally round to help her financially.
Nandri has implemented vital education programmes for our mothers and families. We see knowledge as an important weapon to keep COVID19 at bay. Nandri has provided classes covering social distancing, hand washing instructions and the importance of wearing masks.
We provided masks for our families and also for those in the district working on the front line, who are in contact with the public, such as police, government officials etc. We educated them on the importance of masks to prevent the spread of the virus. Our people have embraced wearing their masks as the new norm. Our mothers are now making them and sharing with the nearby villages.
In this time of need, Nandri has extended a helping hand to all. We set up a mobile food kitchen to visit poverty stricken people, including the Narikuravas, Gypsies from a nearby village who were starving. We fed them for two days and organised the local government to continue caring for them.
We are also feeding seven very poor migrant families from Northern India who have been left destitute as they no longer have any work or money. Nandri is supporting these families with vital food items for the last 10 days.
The lockdown has been very effective in stopping the virus spread throughout India and as a result, the government has extended it beyond the initial 3 weeks. We do not know how long these restrictions will be enforced. As a result our poor families will continue to be severely impacted as they simply cannot earn their daily wages. We will continue to support them and other poor families in our region. We will do everything in our power to help them through this horrendous time.
Close to where Nandri is situated, we have 5 refugee camps where more than 1500 families are living in severe poverty. These people fled Sri Lanka during the war. Due to the lockdown they are not permitted to leave the camps and have no means to earn money. Their situation is dire. With further funds Nandri could reach out to these and other desperate communities and provide them with basic food to help them survive this catastrophe. These poverty stricken families are in a hopeless situation.
Our Nandri families know that we are always there to look after them but these are extraordinary times and Nandri’s resources have been severely stretched. Looking to the future, if the lock down continues and our families cannot work, our mothers will need more money to buy food. Nandri also wants to help other very needy communities in Tamil Nadu, who urgently need our help. The bottom line is we will need to raise further funds to help us continue our vital work.
As always, we say a very grateful “Nandri” to our sponsors, donors and supporters for helping us to help our mothers and their families and the other very poor communities in Tamil Nadu. Without you we could not do this vital work. Particularly as this time, your financial support is even more invaluable to the Nandri family.
If you would like to contribute to Nandri’s ongoing COVID19 relief fund, please donate here: https://www.nandri.org/donate