Educational games on tablets helping girls study
I sincerely hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe during this challenging pandemic. As you are no doubt aware, the second wave of COVID is devastating India and we are extremely grateful for your support which will go some way to helping us get through this. 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 overburdened and 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 stet 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.
Your support has never been more vital with more than 700 million girls around the world currently missing school due to lock downs. Here in India all schools and colleges have been closed for most of the last year and 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 and it is estimated that 10 million Indian girls will never set foot in a classroom again.
We are determined to 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 are also 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 young girls orphaned by COVID are at increased risk from traffickers and we have opened a dedicated shelter for them. 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 girls receive the support they need to continue their education when safe to do so.
Education can be sweet