| May 24, 2021
Our children love learning with technology
I sincerely hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe during this challenging pandemic. As I am sure you are aware, the second wave of COVID is devastating India. Ahmednagar District, where Snehalaya operates is one of the worst hit with no beds, oxygen or medicines available to our largely rural population of nearly 5 million. High unemployment, a severe lack of statutory healthcare, drought, poverty and a large transient population has historically perpetuated many issues for low-income families, most of whom earn their living from agriculture, daily wage or migrant work.
Since March 2021 a flood of positive cases has rendered the current medical facilities throughout the district insufficient. There has been a steep rise in the number of Corona positive patients in the district and with lack of vaccinations and testing we are the worst affected district in our state with over 3,000 new cases still being reported each day. With the already overburdened medical facilities throughout the district insufficient, we have established two COVID care centers and are supporting those hardest hit in many ways. You can read more about our COVID relief work at www.snehalaya.org/covid2021.
Due to lockdpwn restrictions, all schools and colleges have been closed for most of the last year and with the second wave, school board exams have been cancelled. It is now the summer vacation and the academic year would normally resume on 15 June, however with little improvement in the situation so far this seems unlikely. With over 700 million children out of school due to the virus, education has never been so important. We are currently planning how we can get all of our children safely back in their classrooms and help them to catch up on their work. In the meantime, we are conducting online classes and educational activities with all of our beneficiaries. By continuing our work with them, we have also been able to support their families with food, hygiene, health & financial aid, vastly reducing the impact of the virus in the most vulnerable communities.
We are also reaching out to those in our other local communities where children orphaned by COVID are at increased risk from traffickers and we have opened a dedicated shelter for them and are sucring financial aid that will help them rebuild their lives. Child marriages also continue to rise and to date our Childline team has saved over 100 child brides – nearly 50% of all rescues in our state! With your support, we will ensure that all of these children receive the support they need to continue their education when safe to do so.
Thank you for all of your support, you are literally working alongside us to save lives. We couldn't do it without you and we are extremely grateful and encouraged by your actions to ensure our health and safety, please do stay safe yourself.
Using our extra time at home to teach new skills