Sanitation, clean water and the threat of COVID19 for our Nandri Families
By Janice Vard Smith - Project Leader
Never has there been a more important time for proper sanitation and good hygiene than now, with the threat of the COVID19 virus looming over our Nandri families. We have made great progress with building proper sanitation for individual families and teaching them how vital good hygiene practice is for their health but the truth is a toilet is still a rarity in poor areas of rural India. Infact none of our families have running water in their homes. Water is collected and stored in pots for washing hands and utensils. Particularly now education in hygiene practices is absolutely essential for our families. This virus is extremely contagious so we have as a matter of urgency instigated a special COVID19 education programme for all our mothers and their families. We emphasize the importance of hand washing in clean water and of social distancing and wearing masks to prevent spread. This disease is new to us all and it is so important that our families are informed in how to prevent contracting it. One of our new projects is the mothers groups are making masks for their families to wear to prevent them from spreading the virus.
All our Nandri families are being severely financially impacted by the 21 day lockdown and will be in great danger when the Covid Virus hits their villages. They live in very rural areas with little or no medical care and we have seen cities like New York with top rate health care brought to its knees by the number of people very ill and losing their lives. The Indian Government is giving some support but it will not be enough for our families to survive 21 days without work or income. Nandri is there to help and support our mothers and families through this desperate time. We will support our families financially. Just 1000 rupees (12 euros) per month to each of our mothers will help them survive this unprecedented pandemic.
COVID19 is devastating countries both rich and poor but the effect that it will have on our poorer countries is unimaginable. We have seen wealthy Nations with modern sanitation and sophisticated health care buckling under this virus. India has a population of 1.3 Billion, of which 360 million live in poverty with little or no sanitation. This virus does not discriminate on who it infects but the poor are so much more vulnerable. Nandri has already transformed the lives of over 5000 poor Dalit mothers and their families and through out this pandemic we will do everything in our power to protect, support and see our vulnerable families through this desperate time.
We want to thank you, our donors who make it possible for Nandri to do this vital work of providing sanitation and clean water for our families. We will be working extremely hard to improve the conditions our families live in especially In this extraordinary and very frightening time. If you can donate and help us to help our families, we would be extremely grateful. We have also set up a special COVID19 fundraising project on GlobalGiving which is linked below. As Nandri means thanks in the Tamil language we would like to say a big “NANDRI” to all our wonderful donors.
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