Covid-19 and the impact of the lockdown
April 5th, 2020.
India still has relatively few Covid 19 cases (72 deaths), which we certainly hope will continue to be the case. But a bigger tragedy lurks. A week ago with only four hours notice, the central government put the entire country into the largest restriction of movement the world has ever seen. That lock down means everything is shut down: no trains or buses moving, no stores open. People must stay inside their homes all time except for one hour in the morning to purchase food.
For years, many, many men have left their family and village and gone to city to get work. When the lock down occurred, employers stopped all work leaving these vast number of workers with no income and no way to pay rent or food. These laborers are stranded in cities far from home with no money and no transport to get home. Many are walking hundreds of miles to reach home with little food and not even any water.
In rural areas, many are employed doing farm labor earning tonight's food by today's work. With this lock-down in place, there is no work and no food. Very possibly many more will die of starvation and diseases that grow out of nutritional deprivation than Covid 19.
Our people are trying to get food especially to widows with children. It requires moving out to buy large quantities of food and package it for multiple households and get it to them.
Our people are heartbroken over the suffering they see and their own inability to do as much as is needed. Children especially will die for lack of food before Apr 15 (projected end of lock down). If it's extended, there will likely be a tragedy that will dwarf what the virus has done.
Due to staples on hand, we are feeding our children in care, but getting certain vegetables and spices has become almost impossible.
Our people feel so much frustration because they can only do so much with their limited time, money, and opportunity to move to buy the food. They will continue to do all they can to get food for the children in care and for those who have none. If any of you wish to help our courageous people do this difficult task, your gifts are most welcome and needed. Simply go to our SUPPORT US Page.
Many thanks in advance,
The Open Arms India team