Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of strict lockdowns and curfews has led to the unemployment of thousands of workers worldwide. Yet daily wage earners and migrant workers which make up the majority of the workforce in low-income countries have undoubtedly been the hardest hit. Living paycheck to paycheck, they often lack savings to buffer their loss of income, while their precarious employment in the so-called “informal economy” renders them unentitled to government-provided financial aid, where available.
The result is that community groups and non-governmental organizations have been left to fill the gap in social service and humanitarian aid provision to families who have gradually fallen deeper into poverty as lockdown measures endure.
In 50 villages across the district of Pudukottai in Tamilnadu State, South India, a small non-profit organization called the Indian Social Service Institute (ISSI) has temporarily redirected its focus to distributing much-needed aid in the form of food, sanitary supplies, milk powder for babies, and other essential items to 280 families relying solely on the, now stifled, income of daily wage earners and migrant workers. Unfortunately, due to having failed to procure funding from major donor agencies and COVID-19 grants earmarked for larger organizations, this small, grassroots initiative has been unable to fulfill its mandate, currently providing only 30 families with the needed aid.
It is when large donor institutions with different priorities fail to tend to the overlooked hardships of small, impoverished communities that we must turn to the goodwill of citizens. Such support is essential to alleviating the immense suffering of families unable to meet their daily survival needs. Please consider contributing to this important cause as we, as a global collective, work in solidarity to meet the needs of our most vulnerable communities during this unprecedented global crisis.
For additional information on the cost breakdown of the aid the ISSI will provide upon receipt of the needed funding, please see below.
Each family will receive (until full resumption of normal economic activity):
- 1 food ration kit (5 kg rice, 2 kg Dhal, 1 kg sugar and grocery items- lasts approx. 1 week); cost per kit= INR 600 (CAD $10.73)
- 1 hygiene kit (soaps and sanitizers- last approx. 4 weeks, masks- last approx. 3 months); cost per kit= INR 300 (CAD $5.37)
- 1 baby food kit (2kg packet baby milk powder/child- lasts approx. 2 weeks); cost per kit= INR 220 (CAD $3.94)
***TOTAL COST FOR ABOVE ITEMS= approx. CAD $20