Interventions for Covid19 lockdown
The industrial units and commercial establishments in which the migrant laborers were employed in the working areas of SPPD belonging to the districts of Tiruchirappalli, Karur and Perambalur had been shut all of a sudden leaving the migrant laborers clueless. And all modes of transports had come to a standstill keeping the migrant laborers stranded. SPPD immediately stepped in and extended a helping hand to the interstate and inter district migrant laborers during these times of corona pandemic induced lockdown.
SPPD distributed immediate relief materials sponsored by online portal of Give India and the alumni of NIIT. The stranded individuals and families belonging to the migrant labor sections were given immediate relief in the form of dry food rations. The batch of migrant laborers were given dry food rations comprising of cereals, pulses, food oil, wheat flour etc that would last a month for a family worth Rs. 3500/-.
The workers belonging to the unorganized sector such as workers of restaurants, road side eateries, hawkers, workers of barber shops etc had to bore the brunt of lockdown blues in our region. The commercial establishments to which the workers were attached were all of a sudden had been shut leaving them clueless as all most all of them could not even get their pending wages. And they pushed to the point of starvation within a few days after the announcement of lockdown.
And SPPD immediately wanted to help them with relief materials and distributed dry rations to the affected families of these workers. Dry ration worth Rs3500…/ comprising of rice, wheat, pulses, cereals and food oil were given to them. As many as 3000 families belonging to these sections were given the same. For about four months since the beginning of lockdown this relief work was carried out by SPPD.
Hill tribals and potter communities:
The members of the nomadic hill tribal community of “Malai Kuravas” who had come down from the neighboring hills of Eastern ghats such as Kolli hills and Pachamalai hills camped at the plains near Musiri too suffered terribly due to the pandemic caused lockdown. The members of this community mainly the women used to be engaged in the work of basket weaving. They were literally starving as the demand for the bamboo baskets woven by had dried out completely. SPPD stepped in and helped the members of as many as 50 belonging to Musiri and Thuraiyur administrative blocks. These families were given dry food rations for a period of three months.
Similarly, the families of traditional potters who form part of resource poor communities of the working areas of SPPD received the food ration kits during the months of March, April and May consisting of the essential food items. A total of 25 families belonging to this community were given the food kits.
Urban Homeless communities:
The lockdown announced by the government in the month of March literally left the homeless individuals and families who are part and parcel of the city of Chennai were pushed to despair. Food packets were given to the orphaned individuals mostly the aged and mentally unsound dwelling in the road sides of the city. The nomadic “kurava” families who lead a life like gypsies mainly dwell under the number of fly over bridges that criss –cross the city along the long stretch from vadaplani bus terminus to Avadi also were given the food packets daily apart from the members of the transgender community.
The Covid19 pandemic have been casting its shadows on the children in the worst way. The schools remain shut for more than a year and this has not only impacted their academic wellbeing but their whole personality development have been badly dented. Both the psychological and physical needs are not being fulfilled because of long time closure of schools.
Children belonging to the marginalized sections and the rural kids who used to be getting their nutritional needs served by the free noon meals formerly are now deprived of the same. Under such circumstances, the on line Charity portal Give India came forward to help to fulfill the nutritional needs of the children affected by closure of schools. As many as 1000 children have been receiving food kit monthly in our working areas since the month of October 2020. The food kit combo comprises of pulses, health drink mix, date fruits etc enough to fulfill the needs of a child for a month.
This intervention made possible by the benevolence of the sponsors of Give India platform has served many purposes other than merely fulfilling the nutritional needs of children. That is because during the last one year since the outbreak of pandemic and lockdown caused livelihood loss have led to the reemergence of the evils like child labor and child marriage in the case of girl children. SPPD has effectively made use of this intervention of distributing food kit as negotiating tool to prevent the evils of child labor and child marriage in a big way.