COVID-19  India Project #46564

Emergency Aid in the Covid pandemic- South Asia

by Mission Bambini
Emergency Aid in the Covid pandemic- South Asia
Emergency Aid in the Covid pandemic- South Asia
Emergency Aid in the Covid pandemic- South Asia
Emergency Aid in the Covid pandemic- South Asia
Emergency Aid in the Covid pandemic- South Asia
Emergency Aid in the Covid pandemic- South Asia
Emergency Aid in the Covid pandemic- South Asia
Emergency Aid in the Covid pandemic- South Asia
Emergency Aid in the Covid pandemic- South Asia
Emergency Aid in the Covid pandemic- South Asia

During this long emergency period, we'll go on working for the empowerment and the access to education of the girls. 

Eudcation is the key to prevent abuse, to achieve independence and to obtain a job: in a word through education girls can have the chanche of a future.

Sushmita  is a daughter of a poor family from Machiara village in Khalilnagar union of Tala upazila of Satkhira district. Her father  is a day laborer and mother Sabitri is a housewife. Sushmita's elder sister  got married a long time ago, her brother  is in class VI. Her father found it difficult to pay for her educational expenses after domestic expenses. Sushmita wants to be established after finishing her studies. But her dream came to a halt due to poverty of her family. At that time Sushmita decided that she would have to do something besides her studies and stand by her father's side. While she was in class VI, she took training in tailoring. At the end of the training, she purchased an old sewing machine. Now she is a mature tailor. By working on the machine she is earning some money which he spends on her study. Now she is student of class X.

 

Latika is the daughter of Pankaj and Kabita  of Gadaipur village in Gadaipur union of Paikgachha Upazilla of Khulna district. Latika 's father works in bamboo & cane and mother works in the household as well as bamboo & cane. Latika  studied in the 1st year of HSC at Raruli College. She is supported stipend by our higher education support program. Her sister  is in class VIII and younger brother Vim  is in class I. The number of people in their family is 07. Latika helped her father with the bamboo work in addition to her studies. Latika's wish will be established after finishing the study.

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One of the worst risk of this terrible pandemia is that in some countries as India or Bangladesh, young girls are again pushed into  potential old husbands's arms. we must go on with a deep engagement to avoid this danger and to reduce the possibility that girls are married without any choose. 

Many parents marry their daughters young because they feel it is in her best interest, often to ensure her safety in areas where girls are at high risk of harassment and physical or sexual assault. When families face even greater hardship, they may see child marriage as a coping mechanism in the face of poverty and violence. 

Reina's parents' thoughts are no exception. Reia K., daughter of I. M. of Srim....village in Jalalpur union under Tala upazila of Satkhira district. Reina K. is a 5th class student of Jalalpur Dalit School and is 13 years old. Reina's father I. M. works as a day laborer and mother R. works as a housemaid at home. But her father could not find any work because of the lockdown. Her mother was also excluded from the work that she did. My parents discuss with my uncle about my marriage. My father said the main reason I deceided to marry her off was to reduce the costs of my family. I couldn't believe it when I heard it. I quietly agree to the marriage and marry him whom I have never seen before. I experience shyness, fear, loneliness and unhappiness, she said.

More than half of girls from the poorest families in dalit community are married as children. Where poverty is acute, family members believe that marriage will be a solution to secure their daughters future. Giving a daughter in marriage allows parents to reduce family expenses by ensuring they have one less person to feed, cloths and educate. In communities where brides family pays the groom a dowry, they often have to pay less money if the bride is young and uneducated. S. face the same case. S. is the daughter of Sh. D. of Uludanga village in Haridhali union under Paikgachha upazila of Khulna district. S. D.'s father is a day laborer and her mother  is a housewife. 15 year old S. is a 9th class student of Uludanga Dalit School. No dowry was demanded from the groom side. So her father never thought a second time because they passed a taff situation due to corona crisis. On 12/06/2020, S. married at her sister's house (in Finding village of Asashuni Upazilla). She was secretly married to D., a 22 years old and is a clerk of Satkhira court. 

 

ONLY WITH YOUR HELP WE COULD INTERRUPT THIS TRAGIC CIRCLE  and guarantee to girl to have a future and a autonomous life

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Report from India: Four months after the first lockdown in March, and the Coronavirus Pandemic remains a time of hugeeconomic,social,and psychological difficulty for the vulnerable sections of the communities.Our partner, Sharana NGO; has distributed provision items to over 1050 families till date, and also distributed over 300 packets of cooked food in the vulnerable communities we work with. InJuly, we disbursed support kits once again to over 250 families. This kit comprises an Essential Provisionskit,aHygieneHit(includingtwokindsofsoapandmasks)aswellasanActivityKitfor all the women under the Social Entrepreneurship program.

Our social workers have started making regular outreach visits into slums and communities. The team maintains all proper all safe practices and hygiene protocol including wearing a mask as well as a face shield during these visits. These visits are especially important because in Sharana’s field of intervention, the human connection is essential and cannot be replaced with the phone or other devices. Last week, one of Sharana’s Back to School child was tested COVID Positive along with her sister and parents who tested positive as well. They are all undergoing treatment at the hospital and responding positively to the medication. Our team, very concerned about this news, is following up with the family every day. Their situation is improving daily and they should all be back home in the next 3-4 days. most of the Vulnerable communities and Back to School beneficiaries do not yet have a stable job because they are daily wage workers. The owners are afraid of the Corona situation and of a possible outbreak on their site- they are only calling the minimumnumberofneededlabouronanalternatebasis.Mostbeneficiariesgettoworkonlytwo daysinaweekonaverage-decreasingtheirincomedrastically;theyarenotabletomanagetheir household expenses in this amount and once again the vicious cycle of small loans with a high- interest rate hasbegun.

Women, who mostly work as housemaids are going to work but some people continue to ask maids not to come for work fearing infection through them- so many women are fearing that they may lose their jobs or be asked not to come. Also unfortunately not everyone paid them for the time they were not able to come for work. Competition is high as there area limited number of work opportunities and many women who aredesperatetodoanykindofworktobringhomeanincome to run the household expenses and pay for their children’s needs.Sometimesthechildren’sfathers,mostoften alcoholics, get tensed and angry, even depressed and take it all out of their wives and children. Fights are frequent and quite animated. Alcohol was not available for two months, is now available but at very high rates-and even those husbands that do go forwork-spendmostofthemoneyandeven take small loans to be able to drink every day. Sharana is continuously striving to ensure safety of women during this timeand the social workers are supporting women with alcoholic husbands via regular 1-1 counselling. In worst case scenarios, the social workers also encouraging the women to complain at the nearest women police station and seek support. 

Another problem is that when the parents go out to work, earlier the children used to be at Sharana or in school; but now they are left aloneorinthepresenceofanolder sibling, or a neighbour “uncle or cousin”- not always the safest option.

No dates of government schools reopening have been shared as yet- this decision will only be reviewed in the coming weeks; however, the social workers have been following up with the students through regular outreach and phone counselling sessions.On a positive note, the results of the 12th standard exams are out and several of the students from Sharana have fared well in spite of the tough circumstances in their homes and communities. 

 

In Angalakuppam the creche and dispensary remain closed; the staff however continue to come and do outreach as well as administrative work. Like the students in the city, the dates for schools to reopen will only be looked at in the month of August; the social workers and the staff of Angalakuppam have been following up with the students through regular phone counseling sessions and/or visits. Most girls continue to help their mothers to cook and clean the home; and the boys help out with the cattle and learn to catch fish. Agriculture work like planting of vegetables and flowers and other crops in the field like paddy,ragi, gingelly etc., have also restarted and people go regularly for work and social distance ismaintained where possible. Also, the cattle and fishing businessescontinue,howeverthepriceofthecattle feed remains high and the fishing is very lesssince the water level in the backwater is now very low given peak summer. Also, those men and women workinginconstructionsitesandsmall-scalevillage industries, had begun to go for work by foot.

 

Story of hope

After the father deserted the family, the mother was solely responsible for Saisajitha our preschool child) and cared for her with the support of her mother (maternal grandmother). She worked in a shop and was the breadwinner of the family; however, she lost her job during the Pandemic. They managed somehow with borrowed provisions and those distributed by Sharana andthegovernment.Afterthelockdownwascalledoff,shetriedtogetajob butnonewjobsare available the market as the number of people looking for jobs is much higher than the number of jobs available (given the reduced activities running); also new people are not taken in easily as there is always a fear of infection as the number of cases are rising day afterday.

Unfortunately the family began depending on the dole for survival- this was when the mother decided to start a small business of her own. The grandmother would help her buy some vegetables and she would in turn so sell them from door to door. She was able to invest some money for purchasing vegetables by taking up small loans with private money-lenders; she has now been paying the loans off a little by little every week. While she is not earning a big income from this enterprise, she is able to pay back the loans as well as manage the weekly household expenses.

She is courageous and plans to continue this business till she is able to secure a steady well- paying job.

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Organization Information

Mission Bambini

Location: Milano - Italy
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @aiutareibambini
Project Leader:
Alberto Barenghi
Milano, Italy
$472 raised of $25,000 goal
 
6 donations
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