The Covid-19 pandemic has emerged not only as a health crisis but also a looming humanitarian and economic disaster. In India, the countrywide lockdown, announced with barely 4 hours’ notice, left millions of daily wage labourers and working-class people stranded without access to work, home or food. The intense suffering of millions of working and farming people, especially migrants, casual workers, the self-employed poor, waste gatherers, single women headed households, the destitute and disabled poor, persons with disability, stigmatized people, survivors of targeted violence, and others is going to be further compounded with the further extension of lockdown.
Team Karwan e Mohabbat and a group of volunteers have been providing meals and food packages to homeless, daily-wage and migrant workers from the start of the lockdown. Our network of volunteers are working in Delhi NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana and Karnataka.
Besides supporting the poor in metro cities, we are specially focussed on the distress of the rural poor – farmers, daily wage and migrant labour in Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar, UP and Haryana.
We receive over 200 SOS calls every day from various parts of the country of food supplies running out among stranded people and try to respond to them through our networks.
The relief is provided in these 3 ways:
1) Cooked meals for homeless men, nomadic groups, elderly and disabled and stranded migrants.
2) Dry food ration kits that come in different sizes. These have supplies for 100-300 meals that is able to sustain a family for 10 days or for as long as a month depending on the assessment of need.
3) Money transfers to far-flung ration shops from where people who are difficult to reach by our volunteers can procure food supplies locally
We also continue to advocate and support state governments in various states, pointing them to families and clusters of highest need.
Through these efforts, we have provided over one and a half million meals to the poor and needy in the first three weeks of lockdown, but with the extension of lockdown by 19 days, the graph of our efforts continues to rise, but we need to strive even harder. With volunteers and systems in place, and a generous flow of solidarity donations, we hope to supply at least three million meals in the coming weeks of the lockdown and the intense economic crisis even after its lifting.
TEAM KARWAN E MOHABBAT
Team Karwan e Mohabbat is a large open platform, devoted to the values of solidarity, compassion and justice. Team Karwan e Mohabbat for feeding solidarity in times of the COVID 19 pandemic several hundred individual donors from India and around the world and some leading philanthropic organizations; volunteers and staff of Aman Biradari who work for healing and justice with survivors of violence; volunteers and staff of the Centre for Equity Studies who work with homeless people and various other disadvantaged groups; volunteers and staff of Rainbow Foundation India who take care of formerly homeless children; older children and young adults in our care; and a range of other young volunteers including students and young professionals; and volunteers from the homeless population.
FUTURE NEEDS and AIMS
As the scale of hunger and deprivation grows exponentially with the possibility of extension of lockdown in many states, and even after it is lifted, we recognize that the economy will take very long to revive, leaving millions of the poor working people extremely vulnerable to hunger, we intend to raise further resources and build capacity and reach to be able to provide if we can 3 million meals with dignity and honour to those most in need, while the impact of the lockdown continues.
1) Reaching the Last in Line – Harsh Mander’s appeal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4zQ3Ps0nOE&t=1s%3A
2) Fractures in Solidarity – Support the most vulnerable | https://youtu.be/gy_Vli4B4BA
3) Voices From The Margins – daily wage labour | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn-giC1Qk5M
4) The Endless Walk to Reach Home | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1IIeoEMB0E
5) Reaching the Last in Line-the poor and homeless | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV7hM8MkDmc
6) One Million Meals : Naseerudin Shah’s appeal | https://youtu.be/QUrU4CLu0sE
7) Nandita Das Appeals | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SWSCGtucUI&t=3s