Coronavirus is continuing to sweep across India, claiming thousands of lives and leaving millions of children and families in dire situations. So many people have lost all income and are fighting for survival that a national helpline has been set up to try and support them. It has been flooded with desperate calls and our teams are taking referrals of the families we can help.
Vikas was one of those children. His father had been paralysed for several years and his mother supported the family – until the lockdown meant she could no longer work. 17-year-old Vikas also lost his job in a clothes shop. He said: “Our family of four people is so hungry. I am unemployed and unable to provide for them, I can't even buy my father's medicines. My mother keeps crying day and night.” His mother added:
Nowadays due to the pandemic no one is giving me a job. Right now, I'm unable to earn money and my heart hurts when I see my children sleeping on an empty stomach.
Our teams are starting to deliver emergency food supplies to the families – including rice, oil, sugar and flour – so they will have enough to eat while the situation in India continues.
Thanks to your wonderful support, we are still delivering our hygiene kits as well, giving families in slum communities basic essentials such as masks, sanitiser and soap so they can protect themselves from the virus. At the same time our teams are setting up advice desks to teach communities about the dangers and how to prevent infection as well as explaining the benefits of vaccination.
Your donations will be spent directly on emergency relief in these slum communities in the first instance and on our wider work in India after that.