In 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic in India was associated with images of migrant labourers walking long distances to their hometowns as the country was shut overnight. Several groups within the civil society worked towards providing them relief – Greenpeace India was one of them. In two months Circles of Solidarity supplied produce from 315 sustainable farmers in the form of meals and ration kits to 56,760 people across 5 states.
Today we stare at a much bigger crisis. The virus is spreading at a faster, deadlier rate throwing thousands of families in distress and we once again believe it is our responsibility to act. One of our first responsive works in this crisis will be to reopen Circles of Solidarity to help low-income families, lactating mothers and patients tide through the lockdown. As this blog is being written, around 10 sustainable farmers identified by our ally Urban Kyari at Palla Bakhtawarpur village(Delhi NCR) are working to package dry ration kits to be distributed in the first phase. We hope to eventually reach 470 families from most vulnerable communities identified by our on-ground partner and trusted ally Samadhaan Abhiyaan, Delhi.
Greenpeace India, along with our allies, are procuring produce from sustainable farmers thereby assisting in easy selling during the lockdown. As a start, we are providing 170 ration kits to covid patients and lactating mothers. Samadhan Abhiyan will distribute the ration kits in batches of 25-30 kits daily, ensuring they observe maximum precautions. For families of Covid-19 positive patients who are forced to quarantine themselves and lactating mothers, Samadhan Abhiyan will provide door-to-door deliveries using E-rickshaws.
Through this project we are expressing solidarity with members of the Zamrudpur community, who largely work in the national capital’s unorganised sector as helpers in homes, beauty parlours, small shops, as daily wage construction workers, barbers, cooks, dhobis, autorickshaw drivers, rickshaw pullers, etc. A majority of these labourers are migrants from Bihar, West Bengal, Northeastern states, UP, MP and are left to fend for themselves without any employment options during the pandemic.
The only way we can tide through this heartbreaking crisis that our country is facing is together. This is the start and we hope to use a significant amount of our resources on responsive work in the next few months.
Watch this space for more. Stay safe.