Situation of Barak Valley Assam after Lock Down Due to COVID-19 Outbreak
We recently received this update from Sister Sherly in India:
As the lockdown progresses, thousands of people in the villages are jobless and starving. The outbreak of COVID-19 is very shocking to the people of Barak Valley as most of the people are unaware of the situation, especially in remote areas where no prior information has been able to reach the people. The people especially from tea garden are the main sufferers from the lock down as they are were already living hand to mouth and didn’t have any savings for difficulties and crisis. The people depend on the weekly payment but due to the lockdown they are unable to get the payment and so this worries them. Sixty percent of the workers in the tea garden are temporary workers and depend on a daily age. Lock down is going to lead to hunger deaths.
Unaware of the guideline on social distancing, this has proven to be a very huge challenge. No masks or sanitizers. Soap is also not distributed to the people by the garden management for their safety or hand wash. All the workers are sent home, stay home or shut down for 21 days. Government announced financial packages to the workers but it will be done by the bank accounts. Many of the bank accounts may not be active and many of them will not be able to withdraw money. Masks, hand gloves, and sanitizer are need of the hours.
Regarding the ration that is announced by the FCI to the BPL families will be given to only the ration card holder and many of the families who have no ration card will be deprived of the ration. There is also a need for ration to the families who don’t have ration cards.
The people are in great stress as they could not get any communication to move out of the village for any basic needs like grocery shopping. The local markets have raised the price of the commodity as they are also not getting supplies. This is also another worry for the people.
Though the Government is doing its best, the total lock down found the government ill-prepared for the magnitude of its impact on migrant labourers and daily-wagers. Also few villages are still on a waiting list and we need to reach them. Complete lock down brought in every challenge for how to meet their basic daily needs:
- Psychological problems : Fear , stress , depression , confusion, mentally disturbed , isolated ,shock of knowing what to do, anxiety ,hope is lost , negative vibration all around are some of the issues at present
Love, beyond all human-made boundaries and restrictions, is our motto now at this time of need. So some of us we pledge in to action to help those in need to build bridges among the fractured communities through dialogue and sharing and giving them awareness. Providing them food items and safety measures materials and counselling over phone.
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