Appeal: Support IT for Change’s Covid-19 Relief Measures – Donate Now !

The 21-day nationwide lock down announced on March 23, 2020 to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted everyday life as we know it. As supply chains get disrupted and economic activities come to a halt, migrant and daily wage workers and low-income households are facing acute economic and social distress. In large cities such as New Delhi and Bengaluru, daily wage workers are left high and dry without means to an income, their next meal and often times, even a place to shelter. The impact in rural areas, which already face challenges on account of poor infrastructure has not been as visible but is being felt in equal measure. Small farmers are being forced to dump produce because of lack of access to market linkages. Access to basic amenities like food and essentials have become an uphill challenge for people as poor households do not have reserve funds or commodities to tide them over in these difficult times and public distribution systems are running dry.

The need for intervention and relief measures is critical and urgent, both during the lock down and for the period after as communities will struggle to get back on their feet. IT for Change, in partnership with local businesses and NGOs is leading and coordinating a range of critical relief initiatives in New Delhi, Bengaluru and rural Mysore. We appeal for your support in these difficult times. Every contribution – small or large – will go towards helping someone in need. Learn more about our initiatives below and how you can get involved.

1. Help us provide hot meals for 2500 wage-workers in Delhi-NCR region

In partnership with the restaurant chain the Melting Pot Food Company and local NGOs Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and Jamghat, IT for Change is coordinating food relief to poor and vulnerable individuals in the Delhi-NCR region, whose daily livelihoods has been disrupted by the lock down. Over the month of April, we will attempt to supply 2500 meal packets everyday to those in need. Each meal costs INR 20 to make. We need INR 15,00,000 to sustain this initiative.

2. Support provision of groceries and essentials to 600 households in rural Mysore

In 60 villages of Mysuru district, where we run a rural women's empowerment program, many households have been direly affected by the inability to access essential commodities during the lock down. We want to supply monthly groceries supplies and personal healthcare essentials to 600 poor and vulnerable households we have identified in consultation with local government functionaries. In partnership with the NGO MYRADA, frontline workers in health and Panchayat systems, we seek to supply each of the 600 households with a relief kit with non-perishable food commodities, fresh produce and personal hygiene and healthcare essentials. We are looking to raise INR 10,50,000 to support the costs of procurement, transportation, and last mile logistics.

3. Help provide food rations/cooked meals to 1200 urban poor households in Bengaluru.

The closure of schools during the lock down period has led to school children from poor and vulnerable households missing out on their mid day meal, often the one nutritious meal that they have access to in the day. Working in partnership with Janashakti and Mercy Mission, we want to reach out to 1200 urban poor households in Bengaluru, the families of school students who are part of our 'ICTs in education' program with public schools, to ensure their basic needs for food rations and/or cooked meals are met. We hope to raise INR 12,00,000 to ensure this effort can work on optimal scale.

 

Updates

After a month and a half of one of the harshest lockdowns in the world, we are now heading for what may be a gradual limp-back to ‘normalcy’. But for the vast majority of India’s low-income households, and daily wage and migrant workers, the nightmare that started nine weeks ago is far from over. The lockdown still finds them stranded; many have been forced to walk for miles on end, with no jobs or money, or the means to get back on their feet in the coming months.

This is no time to let up on the critical intervention and relief measures started in the wake of the lockdown. As you know, IT for Change, with local partners, has been running a range of relief operations in New Delhi, Bengaluru and rural Mysuru. Here’s a brief update on our work thus far:

In New Delhi, in association with the Melting Pot Food company and NGOs Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and Jamghat, we have been providing cooked food to daily wage migrant workers and their families. To date, we have distributed 97,434 cooked meals.

In rural Mysuru, the IT for Change team has been working with village heads, caste leaders, ASHA, Anganwadi workers and elected representatives to distribute groceries and ORS to rural communities who are among the poorest of the poor—widows, single women, separated/divorced, older women who are not been cared by children, families without ration card. We have also been providing masks, gloves and sanitisers to frontline workers in the region. So far we have distributed 702 grocery kits and spent Rs 7,24,898 on relief efforts.

In Bengaluru, through local community-based organization Kaagaz Foundation, we have provided rations and essential items such as soaps and basic medicines, to 52 households. These are families of the children studying in the schools we work with.