As COVID-19 gripped the world, India being one of the most vulnerable countries to the spread of the virus, went into a complete lockdown by the end of March 2020. The Indian government took this step early as a preventive measure, to help contain the disease in its earliest stage. However, the strictly imposed lockdown brought to light the stark distinction between the country’s elite and working class.
While most of the population stayed home and obeyed orders, a chunk of daily-wage workers lost their livelihoods, and several incidents of migrants travelling hundreds of miles on foot to their native states were reported. The already poor and downtrodden have lost their means access to a single meal a day, and are being pushed towards death, not by deadly virus, but by starvation.
Apart from the migrants, there has been a humongous pressure on the medical resources of the country. Medical personnel have been working without much safety equipment, which leaves them extremely susceptible to the virus. There have been reports of doctors being asked to reuse disposable masks multiple times, owing to the shortages.
In these times of crisis, several civil society organisations and individuals have stepped up to help those facing the brunt of this pandemic. Partners in Prosperity, with support from Helvetas and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, contributed and helped people in its project locations.
In Andhra Pradesh- Chintapalli district, where PnP runs its Coffee Value Chain project, around 300 essential commodity kits containing staples for a household were distributed to poor farmers and daily-wage earners in villages like Lothugadda, Chintapalli, Yerrabommalu, Pedaberada, Kommangi, Kothapalem and Lammasingi. Each kit was worth INR 515, Besides this, PnP is also providing constant advisory solutions regarding COVID-19 to these farmers.
In Uttarakhand- Nainital district, PnP procured medical equipment for hospital staff, and handed it over to the Chief Medical Officer at Haldwani. The items included 12000 three-ply surgical masks, 12000 pairs of gloves, 36 body suits, 16 infrared thermometers, 481 bottles of sanitizers (200 ml each), 21 disinfectants (5 litres each). This contribution was deeply appreciated by the medical authorities.
All contributions and distributions were made with strict adherence to measures of social distancing. Partners in Prosperity is glad that it is able to stand by its vision even in a crisis, the vision of a healthy and prosperous planet and people.
Pictures from Andhra Pradesh
Pictures from Uttarakhand