This project will bring emergency food rations to the poorest of the poor in Kolkata, India to help them get through the Coronavirus epidemic and India's lock down. Millions of daily labourers, rickshaw wallahs, rag pickers and even beggars who depend on daily earnings to feed themselves and their families cannot now work. They need immediate help. Tiljala SHED will distribute food parcels daily to Kolkata's most vulnerable communities.
The coronavirus has changed the world, and for few more so than India's rag pickers, day labourers, rickshaw wallahs, fruit sellers and beggars who find themselves locked down and unable to work. They depend on a day's labour to feed their families: if they can't work, they will starve. This project will provide rations to the most vulnerable families and isolated elderly people living in makeshift shelters beside the railways and open sewers of central Kolkata.
By providing basic food supplies at well-managed distribution points, we are ensuring that families have enough to eat until this crisis is over and they are once again able to engage in India's vibrant informal economy. Tiljala SHED will also use this opportunity to encourage social distancing and educate the community on hygiene and disease prevention at this critical time.
Hunger and disease lead to a cycle of despair. By enabling the community to help its own members through crises, this project promotes community cohesion, keeps the able bodied in work and the children in education. The community will rely on its own leaders rather than depend directly on an NGO. Ultimately the community itself will provide the funds leading to a long term sustainable programme.