Covid and Community: Solidarity Appeal

How AVI and it's partners are responding to COVID-19

Across much of Europe, many people have experienced a public health crisis which has provoked many Governments to take forward urgent measures. Gradually these have affected our public health but they all have significant social and economic consequences. In the UK, as we write this, over a million people are new claimants for Universal Credit, Food Banks are in crisis, and we have deep concerns for rough sleepers while there is also  a disturbing rise in violence against women in their homes. At the same time, we have widespread examples of community, humanity and solidarity all linked to a discovering and rediscovering of the deep importance of sharing and caring.

Across India, the contrasts could not be greater. By 28th of April there had been 29,451cases and 939 deaths due to Coronavirus. The social and economic effects of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared lockdown that began on 24th March are almost impossible to fully grasp. As 94% of the roughly 400million women and men in the workforce are in the informal sector, this has meant an instant loss of income, livelihoods, ability to buy food and pay rent. It is estimated there have already been a minimum of 136million jobs lost. Within the first few days of the lockdown, there was a truly mass exodus from cities and large towns across India of at least 100million people. This is eight times the people displaced by Partition!  The consequences for women, men and children who were already social and economically vulnerable are enormous and disturbing.

Newsletter September 2020 5

There has been regular communication between Action Village India and partners across India. Here we want to share some of the challenges they are facing as well as the dramatic changes to their lives and planned work which have been forced upon them and their communities.

All partners are already responding to the social and economic challenges provoked by the precipitous lockdown. Ekta Parishad shares the vital responses to the situations of some migrant workers and vital support packages for people returning from cities to their villages who are asked to self-isolate. No panic buying, no supermarket queues, no toilet paper wars just straightforwardly food for 14 days and a place to be safe. ASSEFA is responding to the special challenges of the 233 widows, destitute and deserted women in Kariyapatti and Natham areas whose ongoing support has been forced to stop.

In the midst of these challenges, partners are working to strengthen community, humanity and solidarity. They have shared requests for our support, our solidarity and we are simply sharing these requests with you through the launch of a Solidarity Appeal. We fully appreciate and respect that these are difficult times for all and we  are all facing numerous challenges at present.

The communities where partners have been working in, often for decades, are some of the poorest in India. Many are/were homes to migrant workers who left because of poverty and who are now being forced to return. We are humbly asking you to share what you can with the women, men and children of the communities partners are working with..

Stay safe

With our deepest gratitude

Staff, trustees and volunteers of Action Village India

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