COVID relief in 2020
As the Corona virus spread across the world in 2020, Snehalaya took extreme measures to protect our thousands of beneficiaries. Despite a reduction in our services, many of our staff remained at work to provide support those who did not have homes or families they could safely return to. Our projects are home to children and women who have reduced immune systems and are therefore at a higher risk from opportunist infections and diseases such as Corona virus and we were very busy taking precautions to keep our beneficiaries safe and sound and keep COVID 19 at bay. Thanks to our measure there were no cases of the virus in our shelter homes in 2020.
While our own beneficiaries remained our top priority we were also aware that many others were being hit hard by the measures imposed to break the spread of the virus. We worked with the communities most affected by the lock down to ensuring they stayed home and safe, took adequate hygiene measures, were able to access medical care and vital medicines when needed and that hunger did not become the biggest killer during the pandemic.
Throughout the year, our 305 employees worked 24/7 to provide a range of additional services and helped 300,000 people with one or multiple services. This included providing food packets, grocery kits, shelter and food with survival kits and emergency relief to migrant workers.
We are extremely grateful for the help of organisations including Caring Friends, Crompton CSR, Wishing Well, Step Up Foundation, Shantikumar Firodia Foundation, Global Giving and Give India and the thousands of individual donors who helped us in our mission.
Food Aid Program
From 21 March 2020, starvation became the biggest threat to daily wage workers and other people from low socio-economic backgrounds. Many hands came forward to offer support, including professionals, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers and people with local grocery businesses. Thanks to the support of them and our donors, we were able to provide grocery kits, assembled by our Balbhavan and Yuva Nirman projects, to daily wage workers, slum dwellers, pensioners, widows, the disabled, female sex workers and transgender communities. These included enough basics for a family of 5 for 10 days to over 10,000 and additional vegetables, food packets, cooked rice with vegetables, sweets, sanitizers, masks and soaps to many more.
From 11 May to 6 June 2020, a new and serious issue surfaced when thousands of migrant workers and their families started from Mumbai and Pune for their native states as the continued lock down meant no work, no wages and an alarming increase in the number of cases. Fear of starvation, COVID infection and bleak future ahead made these workers start the long journey home by walking, cycling or trucks, tempos and any other available vehicle.
By the time they reached Ahmednagar they were exhausted, hungry and dehydrated. Our roadside centers provided:
Hygiene & medical kits including masks, soap, sanitisers, band aids, paracetamol, electrolyte powder
Dry snack packets
Reusable old clothes, hats/caps, old slippers & shoes
Locker facilities to keep their belongings
Bicycles, handcarts, prams & carts to carry excess luggage
Xerox of road maps, information and addresses of social organizations en route
Help them in getting thermal screening, police permissions to travel, etc
Transportation and help to book train accommodation, state transport buses to the Maharashtra border and private buses to UP, MP, Bihar and even Bengal.
Checking status of women and children by our Childline and Snehadhar teams to prevent illegal trafficking
Overnight accommodation, food, breakfast, thermal screening and documentation assistance at Bhagyoday Mangal Karyalaya provided by the Municipal Corporation.
Employment secured in Ahmednagar with local industrialists and entrepreneurs.
families provided grocery kits with supplies for 10 days
migrant workers supported
migrant workers provided transport to their home states
migrant workers provided shelter
child marriages stopped
school & college students provided with online classes
With workers confined to their homes, over Rs 1 crore of financial aid from Give India was distributed to 2,100 slum community members, sex workers, transgender community, differently-abled people, Phase-Pardhi community members, people suffering from TB and/or living with HIV/AIDS. Some of the beneficiaries used the funds to start small business like selling vegetables so that they could create a sustainable income while many others gave a portion of their payment to other families in need.
families received emergency financial aid