Kudumbam’s efforts during the COVID-19 lockdown
The past few months of the COVID-19 lockdown have proven itself to be strenuous for the Indian countryside. The lockdown entailed a shut down of all non-essential operations as well as restricting people from stepping out of their homes. All transport services–road, air and rail- were suspended, with exceptions for transportation of essential goods and emergency services, yet this too has been limited to a great extent due to ambiguity of what is considered essential goods. The lockdown has stagnated almost all sectors, the most vulnerable have suffered the most, as access to basic necessities has been out of reach or much limited.
The most vital of all sectors, the agricultural sector, has shown to be filled with bottlenecks that were not carefully looked over when the lockdown policies were implemented. Thus, the food supply chain has come to a stagnation as the produce is literally on a standstill. Farmers are unable to sell their produce due to immobility caused by the lockdown. With this backdrop the farmers have deemed harvesting to be redundant and a waste of resources. In other words, many landless farm workers have lost their livelihood. On the other hand, many farmers who want to harvest their crop have had the opposite problem. Farm labourers have been sparse and the landowners have not been able to find individuals to work on their field, this again due to the immobility and lack of public transport. Thus, the rich spring harvest due to the favorable rains have been left to dry out. Similar problems have manifested themselves among milk farmers. Central milk production industries are no longer buying milk from farmers as the demand has fallen. The closure of coffee shops and restaurants have reduced the need for milk, thus leaving milk farmers without an income. Moreover, a shortage of drivers in the transportation sector has further stagnated other parts of the supply chain, e.g. middle-men and market salesmen are also out of work. In other words, families in vulnerable socioeconomic positions have gotten it even more difficult.
With these developments Kudumbam has done the best of its ability to help those in most dire need. Kudumbam’s close proximity to the rural areas has allowed a first hand appreciation of the constraints and needs of vulnerable families in the region. Through various baseline studies Kudumbam has identified 4860 vulnerable families and 4050 children of the age group of 1-5 years in 81 panchayats of Pudukkottai and Nagapattinam districts, but unfortunately have as of now been able to help 312 of them due to financial constraints. The efforts included distribution of relief packages, which contained rice, various provisions, vegetables and sanitary products. These relief efforts have been made possible through mobilization of funds from local and international donors including: Holy Cross College, Trichy, Sr. Joseph’s College Alumni and the former NABARD District Divisional Manager, Pudukkottai, the present NABARD District Divisional Manager, Pudukkottai, Kudumbam Friend Group, Sweden and other long-time partners of Kudumbam.
We are planning livelihood restoration activities for these much affected jobless, incomeless migrant workers and children from June to the end of this year.
A lot of vulnerable families are still in much distress and the hardship is immense. Please help by donating to Kudmbam’s emergency relief efforts, please find the details below.
FOR INTERNATIONAL DONORSACCOUNT NAME: KUDUMBAM
ACCOUNT NO.: 046701000026483
BANK NAME: Indian Overseas Bank
Jamal Mohamed College Branch
Tiruchirappalli – 620 020.
Tamil Nadu, India
Branch code: 0467
IFSC: IOB A 0000467
SWIFT CODE: IOB A IN BB 001
BANK TEL NO: +910431- 2332030, 2332031
FOR LOCAL DONORSBank details: Kudumbam – General Fund
Account No: 046701000025018
Bank: Indian Overseas Bank
Bank Code: 0467
Jamal Mohamed College Branch
Trichy – 620 020
IFSC Code: IOB A 0000467