COVID-19, school closures, and increased reliance on online classes rolled back progress made to improve India's school enrolment rate, especially on gender lines. Related financial distress, job losses, and patriarchal mindsets about girls accessing technology made virtual learning nearly inaccessible for many girls. The emotional, mental, and financial toll of the lockdowns is still hard to recover from. 2021 was a difficult year in so many ways. Yet, Shadhika's community rose.
It is clear that this virus has not impacting us all equally. Those that are poor, are migrant workers or day laborers, those with no access to the internet, without reliable running water, have been put at higher risk - not only for the virus, but for hunger and domestic violence. Girls in India may be at the highest risk of all. When food is scarce, girls eat last. When family members fall ill, girls are tasked with care giving. When schools are closed, girls' education often ceases.
Because of this, Shadhika's Covid-19 Response helps to provide rapid, flexible, financial support to our grantee partners so they can take action to ensure the young women we support are taken care of during this crisis. This will serve to cover the costs of food, sanitation and medical supplies, mental health counseling, distance learning tools (laptops/ tablets, internet, and video conferencing), school supplies, emergency lodging, as well as other items.
A donation of any amount can help make sure the young women we support remain safe and stay healthy during this crisis, and that, when the pandemic subsides, they are able to return to school and thrive.