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 Health  India Project #23676

Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India

by Tiljala Society for Humans and Educational Development
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Food and Medicine for 450 Ragpickers in India
Sonali and daughter Suhana
Sonali and daughter Suhana

Food rations have been distributed to a number of extremely vulnerable families, thanks to your generosity.  With food in their stomachs, the children can concentrate at school and their mothers have more energy to help themselves out of their terrible situations.  Tiljala SHED also supports these families through the education programme and through the Livelihood Microfinance Programme. Our aim is to empower these women to change their own lives, but sometimes the basics like food rations have to come first

Anwari resides beside the canal-sewage in Narakeldanga with her family consisting of four members. Her husband died some years back and she had to support their family single-handedly through rag picking. She lives under extreme poverty. She earns around Rs 100 (less than 2 US$) daily. She works 8 to 10 hours daily. Age is catching up and she is finding it very difficult to continue with her work. She is malnourished and needs proper food as she has to go empty on many days when there is no sufficient income. She has 5 family members.  With this monthly ration she can sleep with full stomach and would not have to starve.

Afroza’s husband was a drug addict and prone to domestic violence. Afroz would often fight with her husband over trivial matters. Her children were also not attending school. Her husband later abandoned the family. Afroz has set up a small grocers shop and earns between Rs 1500 to Rs 2000 per month. Her neighbour sometimes helps her with some food and money. Struggling to stay alive with limited means, this ration support means a lot to Afroza and her family. This emergency food support is a ray of light in their darkness.

Nazma is very weak due to lack of nutrition. Her husband does not care for the family and spends his income on liquor. They have three children who do not get sufficient food. All are malnourished. Nazma is severely malnourished and they are 5 family members.

Moijan is married to a drunkard who very often abuses her both physically and verbally and does not give any money for the upkeep of the family. The burden of looking after the family has fallen on Moijan shoulders and she has been struggling since then. She has 6 members in the family.  Since her husband is good for nothing, she has taken charge of her household. This ration will enable the family to survive as they are now going through a very tough time.

Sonali lives with her daughter and mother in a small house measuring about 70 sq.ft small tiny room. She works as a maid servant and earns Rs.1500 in a month.  Her husband married with other women and has moved away and deserted the family.

He doesn’t give money to run the family as a result the family is struggling to make ends meet. Sometimes, Sonali brings food donated by neighbours or relatives to feed the family but this are not regular hence she cannot depend on it. She really needs regular ration support to sustain the family.

Parveen, aged 28, is a widow and has to take care of her large family all by herself. With five hungry children to feed with limited income. Her children are all victims of malnourishment. Parveen needs all the help available. She is a rag picker. Her husband was an alcoholic and a drug addict who passed away more than 6 months ago.  

Salma lives with her family of six members. She along with her husband are involved in rag picking but lately both have health issues hence they cannot work long hours. This has had an adverse effect on their family finances. Now they are finding it very difficult to meet ends. She lives in Tangra along the canal side. This ration will be a great help to this family as they will not have to stave now. Thanks to this project.

Salma
Salma
Anwar
Anwar
Afroza
Afroza
Thank you for your generosity
Thank you for your generosity

At Tiljala SHED we are committed to empowering Kolkata’s poorest and most vulnerable people to help themselves. We provide educational support and sponsorship to 600 children and microloans to 430 vulnerable women. We see the impact in the educational attainment of children who are first generation learners, ambitious for a better life than that endured by their parents. Women, formerly rag pickers, have transformed their family fortunes by setting up small businesses.  But for some, their circumstances are so dire that they need a helping hand before they can begin to lift themselves out of the cycle of despair.

Shaheen is a mother of 4, a widow at 38 years old and suffering from a heart condition.  She lives beside the railway tracks and makes paper bags out of old newspapers to support her family. The children help her but they all regularly go to bed hungry as she only makes about Rs1200 ($17 or £13) a month.

Hunger means that the whole family has low energy which makes it all the more difficult to work.  To help Shaheen’s family get back on its feet, your generous donations have supplied her with sufficient food rations to ensure she and the children do not have to go hungry.  Once the children are able to progress in school and Shaheen’s medical condition is stabilised we can then consider providing her with a small loan to help her start a more profitable business. See our Livelihood Project here

This month Shaheen and 10 other vulnerable families received essential food rations from this project.

Thank you, as ever, for your generous donations. You are providing desperately needed relief for families who have reached rock bottom.

Widow Parveen (27) and her hungry children
Widow Parveen (27) and her hungry children
Shaheen (right) receives her food rations
Shaheen (right) receives her food rations
Parveen
Parveen

Parveen is 25 years old.  She has five children and was recently widowed.  She lives in a shack beside the railway tracks close to Park Circus Station in Central Kolkata.

Parveen supports her family by rag picking.  She goes out into central Kolkata between10:30 pm and 5:30 am and scours the streets and bins for any dry solid waste (cardboard, paper, plastics and metal) that she can sell on to a dealer.  Typically she earns 200 rupees ($3) a day (and often less).   Since her husband died she has been unable to pay rent on her shelter and has fallen 3 months in arrears. The family risks being turned out onto the street.  Her oldest child, Simran, ought to be in school, but Parveen needs her at home to help with the smaller children and look after them whilst she is out collecting waste.

Parveen is in crisis: she doesn't know where to turn.  But thanks to you and this project, we can help get Parveen and her children back on their feet.  Your generous donations mean that we can provide Parveen with a weekly food parcel. This will include all dry rations - rice, flour, dal, salt, sugar - as well as fruit and vegetables, eggs and milk.  With enough food to feed the family, she won't have to go out rag picking at night. Simran will return to school and the whole family will have a much needed health check.

Once things have settled, we will start to work with Parveen to prepare her to take up vocational training and to set up a small business of her own under our very successful Livelihood Programme.  Over the last 3 years nearly 400 former rag pickers have turned their lives around by taking a small microloan to start a small business.  Read about the programme here. 

So please consider a special donation today.  I was with Parveen just last week and her situation is critical.  But hers is not the only needy family. We desperately need funds to help get very vulnerable families through difficult times.  

Thank you as ever for your generosity

Last week with all 5 children
Last week with all 5 children

Links:

Mansur and family
Mansur and family

This project provides regular rations of dry food to some of Kolkata’s most vulnerable families. Each family receives rice, dal, chick peas, oil and soy protein.  This means that the family does not go to bed hungry and that the children are better able to study.

Thank you so much for your support. We desperately need more funds to help more families. It costs just Rs1200 (£13 $US25) a week to keep a family from starving.

A report from one of our field workers:

Mansur  is 60 years old and is residing with his family members beside the railway line at Park Circus. Mansur cannot walk properly. Sometimes he works in Muslim burial ground (cemetery). His wife Saburjan is a beggar. She is 35 years old. She is handicapped and also has heart and liver problems. She earns Rs.50/ per day. There are five members in the family.

Rijabul  is the elder son of the family. He is 12 years old. Now he is in Metiabruz and works as a labourer. He contributes small amount to the family. But this income is not enough for running the household expenses. Sometimes the family goes to sleep without food. Raju  is the second son of the family and he is 10 years old. He studies in class I in a government primary School. He is average in his studies but trying to do better. Sometimes, he also begs for the support for his family. Khadem is the third son of the family. He is 5 years old. With this dry ration food support, the family will not have to starve now for a month. This emergency food support has fed the hungry from the city’s most vulnerable area and who are deprived of the basic facilities.

This emergency food support has proved to be of immense help to all these families. With your support these children can avoid child labour and remain in education.

Arjina and Family
Arjina and Family

Arjina and her husband are rag pickers.  They live on the street in a makeshift shelter with their three children. Last week the police tore down their home. This week, thanks to your generosity, 10 very needy families including Arjina's received emergency food rations.

The monsoon rains have been unusually heavy in Kolkata this year and this has a particularly severe impact on families who live on the pavements, with only plastic sheeting and other scavenged materials to keep out the rain.  There are a number of families living like this, dependent largely on rag picking, on the street beside one of Kolkata's biggest municipal hospitals.  Last week, the police decided to clear the pavements by ripping down the tarpaulin shelters, leaving families with no homes and  no protection at all against the weather.  Tiljala SHED appealed to a local benefactor who immediately arranged for tarpaulins to be delivered to the desperate families.  And food rations were distributed from this Global Giving project.  Both Tiljala SHED staff and, of course, the beneficiaries are delighted that these funds are ready to be deployed in such circumstances.  Thank you so much for your generous contributions and please pass this on to your friends and families.  The more funds that come in, the more families can be helped in an emergency.

Your donations have given them relief this week – each family received a pack containing dry rations: rice, dal (lentils) chana dal (dry chickpeas), oil and soybean protein.  The mothers are delighted – at least the children won’t go to sleep hungry for a few days.

Thank you very much from all these vulnerable families

Arjina's Story
"Arjina is 32 years old is a rag picker and lives on the pavement near ESI Hospital. There are five members in the family (2 daughters + 1 son).

Her younger daughter studies in Class IV and her other daughter studies in Class II. Her son studies in Kindergarten. Arjina and her husband work together as a rag pickers.  But this income is not enough for running the household expenses.  Sometimes the family goes to bed without food.

Without the supplementary ration support the family would starve. They sleep in the open pavement. During the rainy season, the conditions becomes very difficult as they sleep under a tarpaulin. Local goons and police are a daily harassment for this family. The young girls do not have any security. The local political goons drink alcohol nearby their temporary makeshift structure and takes away water which is being stored for the family drinking purpose. With Tiljala SHED ration support, the family will not starve hopefully. But this one of a family who needs regular support as they are more likely to starve. Since they are basically on the footpath, diseases are more prevalent among them. Diarrhoea, Malaria, High Fever, Coughing are regular problems and found in almost all the homes." 

 

It costs Rs 1200 (£13 or USD25)  to provide a week's dry rations for a family of 6

A family eats together
A family eats together
With donation of dry rations
With donation of dry rations
 

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Organization Information

Tiljala Society for Humans and Educational Development

Location: Kolkata - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @TiljalaSHED
Project Leader:
Jane Manson
Kolkata, 700017, India
$15,079 raised of $20,000 goal
 
180 donations
$4,921 to go
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