The spread of coronavirus in India is having a devastating affect on the country’s poorest communities. Millions of daily workers have lost their jobs and income and have no money to buy food for their families. Migrant workers stuck far from home by the lock down have been specially hard hit. For example, most of the country’s 20 to 30 million construction workers are migrants who live in temporary, slum-like conditions close to building sites in cities or along the roads where they work. When the lock down was announced on 24 March, some tried to get back to their villages, where they could count on support from family networks, but were prevented by travel restrictions and the closure of public transport. The press photos of whole families attempting to walk hundreds of kilometres back home were heartrending.
Although the Indian government provides meals and small cash payments to the poor, this help only reaches a few. They must have official ration cards, or live in the state where the payments are made. But many migrants are stuck far from home without ration cards and are ineligible for payments. Daily workers like cleaners and street traders are also facing destitution.
We are in close touch with our partners, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, in Tamil Nadu who are doing their best to provide food for thousands of families. The needs are enormous and we want to help if we can. This might be the last time we can respond as Friends of India before we close at the end of June and we cannot ignore this disaster. It costs just 25 CHF to provide rice, oil, basic groceries, soap, masks and gloves for a family for a month. Our aim is to provide food for 1000 families. Please help us by sponsoring a food parcel. When you make your gift , please mark your donation ‘food parcel’ and please share this message with friends and family.
UBS Friends of India account:
IBAN: CH 68 0024 0240 4399 3140 D
Friends of India, Chemin de la Marjolaine 1, Founex CH 1297
We are so lucky to have a broad community of loyal supporters and we are counting on you and your families to help. Your gift can be a real lifeline!