These Women Are Helping The Vulnerable Families In Their Villages Avail Rations So They Don’t Starve In This Lockdown. We Have So Much Respect For Them.
Even though lockdown has inconvenienced us all, we will not deny that it was absolutely essential. What we have lost is merely entertainment, fresh air and socializing with people in person. However, the air hasn’t been really fresh and people used to be buried in their phone screens even when in company. So I’d go on a limb and say that although this can be suffocating but we haven’t lost much. At least not when you compare your situation with the lower income group of India. People who live hand-to-mouth and for whom work from home isn’t an option.
Most of the migrant workers went home back to the village they came from. They have no source of livelihood and are largely dependent on government’s welfare schemes. But again there can be a communication barrier and a lot of these vulnerable groups can be oblivious to these schemes. Panic causes confusion, especially with several fake news about COVID-19 doing the rounds.
In the last 3 phases of #Panchayatiraj #elections, almost 30 #Ujalasamooh women contested elections and around 8 women got elected for #Sarpanch and #Wardpanch positions. The 4th phase will take place in April. We are hopeful that pic.twitter.com/n7xlqpehw4
— Aajeevika Bureau (@AajeevikaBureau) February 2, 2020
While panchayats are also busy tackling this unforeseen situation, a few women’s groups in Udaipur’s Salumbar block has been actively helping out these vulnerable groups. They are reaching out to break down myths and false information about the novel coronavirus. At the same time, they are armed and updated about Government’s various welfare schemes.
Ujala Samooh works as a women’s solidarity group that supports women, usually whose husbands migrate to cities for work. They have joined hands this time to make the consequences of this global emergency a bit easier on the daily wagers. They are working with 15 village panchayats of Salumabr block which is mainly dominated by tribal groups.
For this who have not seen our #Fundraiser for #migrants #dailywagers #urbanpoor, here's our campaign poster!
The link to the fundraiser is provided at the bottom. For convenience we share it here as wellhttps://t.co/gRUXTmHk1i#sharetheload #Standwithmigrants #COVID19Pandemic pic.twitter.com/2NapZNcImO
— Aajeevika Bureau (@AajeevikaBureau) April 5, 2020
These groups are making sure that every household is availing free rations, since this lockdown has deeply impacted the migrant labourers’ families. Members of the groups are staying connected with the sarpanches and are also equipping the villagers with the right knowledge on the disease and resources available for them. In fact, according to a member of Ujala Samooh, these labourers earlier even feared the screening equipment of the health workers and were hiding their travel details from the cities. But with the right information, the panic in these groups seem to have reduced.
It is because of these women leaders that several families are being saved from a rather terrible fate. When the panchayat missed her hamlet in the list of houses needing free ration, Ujala Samooh leader Narni Bai pushed and made a list herself, including homes that are run by single women. She made sure that the government’s relief package reaches them. Huda Bai, a woman working for the same made sure that the families of migrant workers were included in the welfare schemes in her area.
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These women are exhibiting resilience and working hard selflessly for the people in their village. Even though it’s essentially a woman’s solidarity group, for them it’s about humanity as they cater to everyone affected by the pandemic and the consequent lockdown. At the end, equal rights isn’t just for women. The equilibrium helps in improving our society and men should want it as much as women. These women aren’t from large cities and yet they are strong, confident and enterprising. They are being role-models in times of need. And even though they may not be applauded unless a movie is made on them, they are truly being heroes selflessly!