frame for a viable Covid vaccine is
nebulous. At Earth Trust the emphasis is on building up immunity levels. Our
Health team has been on the phone,
talking to our village women trainees, encouraging them to stay active, stay at
home and eat healthily. The village Panchayat itself has strict rules for
village people returning from elsewhere. They are made to stay in the community
centre, cook for themselves for a minimum of 10 days. We normally park our
sewing machines in the community centre for nearly three months while our
programme is being conducted. Courtesy the Corona virus, our machines are also
in quarantine in Kothumudi- the last village where we held our Womens'
Programme. The village head has not given us permission to retrieve them.
local leadership we have been planning
to identify and train a person who can then be a resource person covering 4
nearby villages ( within 10 kilometres) including her own. This whole concept has
taken on a sombre urgency due to a new phenomenon - the Covid widow. With deep
sorrow we share the tragic news of two of our trainees, one from Kothumudi and
one from Kadanadu. The Kadanadu casualty -40 years old was a bus conductor. His
widow, all of 28, is one of our brightest sparks. From being a secondary
financial family supporter, she has to transition to being the primary
provider. We have featured her in an earlier report to GG. The Kothumudi trainee who lost her husband is just
in her early 20s. Her husband worked as a mechanic in a Government Transport
Corporation. He was all of 28. They are all so heartbreakingly young. There are
not very many opportunities available in the hills. This has triggered a whole
lot of brainstorming-- how to equip women to be able to have multiple revenue
avenues. The main issue is always funding.
The restrictions on inter-district vehicular
movement has been lifted. Livelihoods have marginally improved. The concomitant
Covid-exposure brings with it the inevitable increase in Covid positive cases.
We have shared with you the direct effect on two of our trainees. Ah well, it
is not just us but the whole world that is going through this. More and more it
makes sense to grow one's own small patch of vegetables. Why is it that we as a
species wait till a " if you don't quit smoking you will die in 2
months" moment happen?
We in the
Nilgiris are blessed, we are relatively safe. So we have the physical and
mental space to celebrate the wasabi that have sprouted in our Resource farms. We are
collecting seeds to give our farmers to grow small patches of high value
vegetables. We discovered that they are
horseradish, not the Wasabi Wasabi of Japan !!!. Potent nevertheless. On that
note of celebration and hope--- Adieu.
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