Foodkit Distribution – June 2020

We are grateful to the encouragement and support from AID and many individual donors and organisations who have collaborated to ensure that we expand and reach out to as many of the vulnerable and needy families and individuals as possible. We note that the state is working round the clock to reach out to the vulnerable populations and migrant labourers and there are some organisations like Manav Sadhna who are working to provide food and shelter on a much bigger scale than us.

Ours and other small civil society efforts are important in that it is not been possible for the state to reach all those who are desperately in need. Particularly, in rural setting the vulnerable populations have found it extremely hard. Our Volunteer and activists in Anand and Mehsana have played a sterling role both in supporting local governance structures to reach the needy and vulnerable and by distributing kits to those in need.

Within June, in collaboration with AID and AWAG, we have distributed kits to 1340 families; in Anand (200 families), Ahmedabad (660 families), DV & POCO survivors (150 families), Sabarkantha (200 families), Banaskantha (130 families).

Overall, foodkits distributed by AWAG & PEC was 850 (as at end of May) in addition to 1,340 foodkits by the end of June, totalling 2,190. With funds raised independently by PEC, we have reached 1,265 families. In total, we have reached 3,455 families in the last 3 months.

In Anand, the total number of active Covid-19 cases has reached 14, with 13 deaths and the full lockdown was operational in the rural areas of Anand. We have distributed kits to villages where we identified the most vulnerable in the villages.

Here we have been extremely fortunate to work with our long-term volunteers Dipsing Chauhan and Ranjan Yadav and our current team of Advocates Gopalbhai and Bhavanaben. We have been able to identify the most vulnerable and needy in villages where our volunteers and activists live or have worked with local communities for many years.

In the village of Aashi, 50 foodkits were given to daily-wagers and farmers as now there will be no work in the villages due to the approaching monsoon season. The MNREGGA scheme will still be running, so our activists will be working to ensure that those who are able to, can join this program.

In Petlad, in a homeless settlement, 30 kits were distributed and a further 28 kits in the Virsad brick kiln and another in Sundarna village.

In Bochasan village, 30 kits were supplied to agricultural daily-wage labourers and 11 families without work from an oil can cleaning factory.  Having spoken to the people to check if they are receiving entitlements or their salaries, they reported that they are only getting 1/3 of their salary and are therefore struggling to manage. In addition, their full-time jobs have been reduced to part-time. However, the oil factory and brick kilns still remain closed.

Our activists have also facilitated 21 families on getting their Anna Brahm Yojna for 2 months’ rations. There was a great benefit from the CJS training in May, as well as our training on Disabled Rights in June that our activists undertook, so our activists are helping people receive their entitlements.

In Ahmedabad, the total number of active Covid-19 cases has reached 3,398, with 1,390 deaths.

In the areas of Ramol, Vatva, Narol, Vanzaravaas and Navapura, foodkits were distributed to daily wage labourers, sewing and textile workers who produced goods from home and factories, auto-drivers, car loaders and people who did colour dyeing. Even after the lockdown, there is no work from factories, as they are no longer producing cotton cloth.

We distributed foodkits in the poorer areas of Ahmedabad, including New Faisal Nagar area, Narol Ghat and other smaller bastis (overcrowded area where many people live), from which our cadres helped us identify the most in need families. Due to the density of some of these areas, foodkits were distributed from one place and listed people came to collect their kits. In and around the Bombay Hotel area, prior to the lockdown women used to do sewing work and now that the factories are closed and they are being asked for rent, they are facing serious hardships. They have had to make tough choices between paying their rent to remain with a roof over their heads or eating.  Another issue now being faced in the midst of unlocking, the factories who employed many migrant labourers prior to the lockdown, no longer have that workforce as many returned back to their villages in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, so they continue to remain unemployed. A thank you to our activists, Nazirbhai, Sharifaben, Kishorbhai and Usmanbhai for this outreach.

In Sabarkantha, the total number of active Covid-19 cases has reached 43, with 8 deaths. 

We distributed to a marginalised community in the leprosy colony in Idar, were the people are usually ostracised and meet with extreme challenges to support themselves and their families. A thank you to Shabanaben for her work in Sabarkantha.

PEC is conducting research on migrant labourers and looking in particular at the situation with migrant labourers, the impact of Covid-19 on migrant labourers; the impact of the changes of labour laws on their present and future situation and impact of the economic packages announced by the state. We are collating feedback for our research from our field activists to further understand their work with migrant labourers and to provide legal advocacy in relevant cases.

Furthermore, Ranjanben in Mehsana has been supporting migrant labourers extensively. 73 migrant labourers were given access to the government entitlement of Anna Bhram Yojna, which is a food kit comprising of 10kg wheat, 3kg rice, 1kg chana daal, 1kg salt, which was facilitated by the local Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM). A thank you to Ranjanben for all her hard work.

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