AKSHY has taken urgent action and measures to provide food for the most vulnerable families in the 4 villages where we work, besides helping the Health Centre in Bodhgaya by donating masks.
At the start of of the Covid-19 pandemic in India, the measures introduced by the Government were unknown to many. A curfew was decreed on March 23rd for only one day but on the following it was extended to April 14th with only 4 hours of forewarning. There was immediate confinement for 1,300 million people in the country and the police force made sure quarantine was observed by not too orthodox methods such as beating and thrashing. Only essential minimum services continued to operate and all transport by air, train or road came to a halt; inter-State frontiers were also closed. Now confinement has again been extended for a further 15 days since infection statistics rise from day to day. Justified movement is permitted up to 9 a.m. for shopping or an urgent matter. The rest of the day no vehicle or pedestrian movement is allowed without Government permission.
Many of the poorest families found themselves with no food in a very short time since they are the ones who do not have fixed jobs and are only paid for the day they work. They, naturally, have no savings as earnings are so low and the majority lost any opportunity to work when activity was almost entirely brought to a halt. Thousands of emigrant workers in the larger cities lost their jobs and had no money so tried to get back to their homes but this was almost impossible since transport was stopped too. Among these men are many fathers of the young people we help. The Government finally offered coach transport but with such a large number of men wishing to leave Delhi or other important cities all at the same time, this transport was insufficient.
The Government and NGO´s have now taken action opening solidarity kitchens or offering financial help, but this takes a long time to reach final destinations.
Families are forced to seek monetary loans with extremely high interest rates that then leave them with debts they have great difficulty in settling
Following Government instructions, our schools were closed on March 14th as well as the Project for Women and its activities but we left the Social Programme open as at the present time it is of vital importance to be able to support those belonging to it. The Centre is closed and the staff are in confinement but the NGO´s Director, Raquel Mason, continues to keep the office open and is in telephone contact with her team, coordinating the NGO´s different actions and working in conjunction with the town´s leaders as also with the leaders of the Self-help Women´s groups to be able to follow through the actions taken and help those who most need it. Movement is allowed inside the village so the leaders come to the Akshy Educational Centre to discuss problems
Actions being taken by our NGO are the following:
- All the employees of our Association in India will continue to receive their salaries thanks to the continued contribution of quotas from our members and sponsors for which we are most grateful.
- We continue covering the cost of medicines or tests for those children or adults who need them but are in no position to pay. We have had cases of children who have had accidents such as burns or health problems for whom, although attended in the Bodhgaya Health Centre, the cost of medicines was not included
- As soon as the quarantine was declared, we offered a donation of 400 masks, made by the women in our Sewing School, for the medical workers in the Bodhgaya Health Centre which at that time had no preventative equipment.
- Until today, Akshy has delivered food to 300 families or around 1,500 people. The bags given them contained sufficient food to feed 5 people for one month with non perishable goods such as 9 kgs.of rice, 5 kgs. of flour, 250 grs. of soya, 1 litre of oil, 1 kg. salt, masala, 2 kgs. lentils and 5 kgs. of potatoes.
- In addition, 5 tablets of soap were given to each family to ensure their hygiene.
- These donations were made in the villages of Amwan, Nautapur, Amwan Colony and Jaitiya.
- The food was handed to the families of the children in our schools as well as to some other families in the village in a vulnerable situation. We also continue providing food for the elderly and widows in our Dada-Dadi programme.
No sabemos que sucederá en los próximos meses pero seguiremos ayudando siempre que podamos a aquellos que lo necesiten y extendiendo nuestra ayuda a quien pueda necesitarla.
We wish to transmit the gratitude of all the people who have received help to those who are collaborating in the Food Bank campaign.
We are aware that the situation in Spain is complicated and for this very reason we are most grateful for your support.
We have received many emails and wasapps from members worried about the situation in India and encouraging us to keep on with the the good work. We are most grateful to you for responding to our call for urgent help and for circulating our Food Bank campaign among your friends and relations.
If you have not yet been able to help and wish to do so, please click on this link:
https://en.akshy.org/donate/ stating that it is for the Food Bank.
With 12 euros a person can eat for a whole month.
We thank you all once again for your contributions and hope that the day is not too far away when we can send you better news. In the meantime, we wish you very good health!