This is a story about a victim of domestic abuse and how she was supported in the COVID 19 situation through Primary Education Project organization in rural Sindh.
Her name is Mali and she has two sons and the younger son is abnormal (Mentally disable). She lives in Tando Allahyar with her mother (she is Widow) and she works as a housemaid in different houses to fulfill the financial needs of her children. She Said That "I have left my husband because he was not doing any work and not supporting us financially. My husband is drug-addicted and used a lot of drugs and the money that I earned; he spent on purchasing drugs and used to beat me every day”.
She was already struggling for earning income, but after this COVID-19 pandemic, government-imposed lockdown and her economic condition worsened. She shared that “almost houses where I was working refused me to work in their houses for their family’s safety because they think that I work in different houses so I will be affected by COVID-19 and will affect their family members. I and my mother were very upset and depressed by the situation we had at my house”.
She shared that “one day the Primary Education Project (PEP) Diocese of Hyderabad’s team came into our area and they were filling the form of needy people for support. They asked about my financial condition and filled the form, after nearly 15 days they contacted me and gave me the good news that I will receive cash PKR 10000 with the support of COVID 19 grant.
I was relieved and a bit naively joyful to hear about the funds that I would be recieving because that meant I would be able support for my family during the crisis and sustain for a short while.
I have been invited to PEP Head office for receiving the cheque of PKR 10,000 that was on my name I have cashed that cheque from the bank my own self and this amount is enough for me to purchase the food items for two months for my family. During the cheque distribution, the PEP team treated us like guests, and given us respect, all the PEP staff were very well-mannered and kindhearted. They provided us face mask and educated us about social distance. Further, they have given us a brief orientation of PEP-DoH and awareness on COVID-19 prevention”.
“I am thankful to PEP for reaching us in difficult time and providing us with hope that we will be able to sustain in this pandemic."
IMPACT OF COVID 19 IN PAKISTAN
The COVID-19 and increased gender inequalities in the patriarchal system of Pakistan like socio-economic issues especially sexual violence have been increased. Also, low-income family’s businesses face drastic income losses since the virus broke out, which is also a major reason for increasing mental distress for women.
In villages it has been very difficult for the women to go out to work in fields due to the lockdown and therefore mnay cases arise of domestic abuse of women and girls. PEP schools are closed at the moment but we have been involved in many cash relief distribuiton activities that have supported many women and girls during this period of lockdown.
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