40+ million migrant workers have been hit hard by COVID-19. As they reach homeenduring unprecedented ordeals, they face the risk of hunger, indebtedness and prolonged unemployment. While the need of the hour is for immediate relief to serve urgent needs, equal attention is required towards a sustainable and resilient rebuilding of lives, addressing health, education and livelihoods needs of the income-less people.
Our first response was to raise funds with your support and provide ration and essential supplies to 50,000+ migrant workers. Whilst we continue to engage in the critical work of supplying food and other essential resources to those who need it, we recognize that this is only the beginning of a crisis.
We are thus raising funds to scale up capabilities to support re-building livelihoods of migrant workers, whose occupation are affected by COVID-19 lockdown.
The threat of starvation has loomed large for migrant workers. We provided dry ration and essential kits to more than 50,000+ migrant workers, small hawkers and domestic helps who have lost their livelihoods to help them sustain for 15 days in West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Delhi and Jharkhand.
We ran surveys within 10,000+ lower income house-holds across 8 Indian States and found out that 48% had no earning member post the COVID, 34% were uncertain to continue the same livelihoods which they had, and 90% migrants were confident not to return back to their places of work before 3 to 4 months. The survey revealed that millions of Indians today are on ‘High food insecurity’ which means they do not know where tomorrow’s meals will come from. They need our support to tide over. We would be supplying 3 months of ration and essential kits to those families whose resources have been saturated.
Loss of livelihoods has been the most paralyzing aspect of the pandemic. In the three crucial months of global pandemic, we have been serving dry ration and essential kits to more than 55,000+ individual across most vulnerable Indian states. However, we would now like to rebuild livelihoods using financial assistance, skill training and market linkages and by partnering with local businesses, large corporations and local government.
Our healthcare response systems in remote areas and in degenerated peripheries of the semi-urban locations which are migrant concentrations, would have to be strengthened. Access to healthcare is required both for COVID infections, and other health complications that have emerged as a result of the pandemic, like nutritional deficiency, mental health, maternal and child health, geriatric health.
We would establish digital-clinics/telemedicine networks, which can be conducted without exposing staff to viruses/infections in the times of such outbreaks. Telemedicine practice can prevent the transmission of infectious diseases reducing the risks to both health care workers and patients. Unnecessary and avoidable exposure of the people involved in delivery of healthcare can to be avoided using telemedicine and patients can be screened remotely. Our intervention in creating digital clinics across the unserved areas – will give space to telemedicine growth in India, while also including medical access to large population who cannot otherwise access the basic health schemes due to reach. We would train youth to be cadres of telemedicine and link them to tele-med companies to be able to bridge the demand-supply gap.
By contributing to this fundraiser, you would become a stakeholder in not only providing immediate relief to migrant and vulnerable workers but also in creating a broader platform for their visibility and sustainability. Your contribution would generate the momentum to ensure dignified work and lives for workers everywhere. As we cope with a global crisis, it is also imperative to bring together state policy, the private sector, civil society and workers’ groups to focus on this singular goal.