Lockdown Eases

Kharibari Village, India

 

After 50 days of lockdown we finally had a day during which we were permitted to roam around. Though the pandemic has not yet fully receded, we have seen the relaxation of some restrictions, so we took advantage and stepped into our fields. The most urgent need at this time is to spread awareness, especially among the villagers as they typically don’t practice social distancing or wear protective face masks. We have been planning to start a widespread awareness campaign with the help of the local community leaders of the Damdim cluster. We had one preliminary meeting where 16 local leaders agreed to be a part of the plan. But the second meeting had to be postponed twice due to various reasons. 

 

In light of this, I began meeting with a few leaders individually: two from Oodlabari and one from Dharanipur tea garden. All of them have agreed to participate and will go through a one-day training seminar. Meanwhile, I personally continued to create awareness among the local villages of Kurtia Dhura, Baansabari, and Dangi, where through children we approached their parents and others. On this occasion we also distributed a few goodie packs among the children. These included masks, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and some sweets. 

 

Through the leaders of the Damdim cluster we have shortlisted 10 villages where we hope to spread awareness about COVID-19. Because we are in the rainy and sowing season, most of the villagers are also busy with sowing crops. Very soon we will have our one-day training programme and then start our awareness campaign.

 

Transformational Community Development (TCD) Update

  • Water - Two wells were cleaned. Nineteen families are drinking water after boiling it first.
     
  • Food - Villagers have no shortage of vitamins or carbohydrates but lack protein. Two families reported having balanced nutrition at every meal.
     
  • Income Generation - Last quarter, villagers’ main source of Income Generation was the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), an Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the 'right to work, through which they earned a good amount. One woman is planning to start a shop in the village but needs some funds. She used to sell wine and local rice beer, and I have been constantly encouraging her to open a grocery shop.
     
  • Education - This quarter, evening instruction has stopped due to the unavailability of teachers, but in four families children conduct self-study every evening.
     
  • Wellness - No major sickness was reported except a few cases of viral fever. Now villagers quickly go to the hospital and not the witch doctor. Furthermore, children are seen to have good behaviour and they are not using slang language, which is very common in the village.

 

Thank you!

 

Sanjay

GHNI TCD Worker

 

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