Lockdown enforced by the Government of India to prevent the infection of Covid-19 epidemic has left a lot of daily wagers and marginalised communities without money or food.
The government has announced relief measures but it doesn't seem to be enough for everyone. One of the primary reasons for this is because not everyone has a ration card. Even when the government has announced that having a ration card is not mandatory to receive ration, the distributors deny having any knowledge of such a directive.
In such a situation, NGOs have come forward to help those in need. Video Volunteers has worked to provide relief to about 90,000 families in need of food and essential items. Madhuri Chauhan, a community correspondent with Video Volunteers, has been working with ActionAid India for the Musahar community of Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh.
She says that the Musahar community was chosen because even when they are eligible for government benefits they do not receive them most of the time. In the last 3-4 days, they have distributed food and relief material to more than 150 families of the Musahar community, she says.
The relief material for every family includes 10 kg each of rice and atta, 1 kg each of arhar dal, chana dal and masoor dal, two sanitary pads, sanitisers, 1 kg of cooking oil, salt, 200g of masalas, milk, sugar etc.
Apart from this, the relief package also includes soaps, sanitisers and masks to keep them safe from Coronavirus infection.
Madhuri and her team faced some trouble in getting a government pass to distribute ration. The area's Sub Divisional Magistrate released the pass to move during lockdown only after Madhuri's team agreed to part away with 43 PPE kits.
Madhuri's landlord does not allow her to come back to her house during these days and she is compelled to live in the house of another relief volunteer.
It is estimated that the area of Pelma, Chhattisgarh holds about 40 million tonnes of coal that the corporates are eyeing.
If not for the intervention by our community correspondent, the poor villagers would have continued paying taxes for a land they didn't own.