Indian Samaritans COVID-19 Food Distribution project
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The Indian Samaritans is a national organization committed to address issues faced by marginalized communities in India. They work with vulnerable communities living in unauthorized colonies in large cities by supporting parents and children to receive an education and providing mentorship for families and teachers to become agents of change.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the strict lockdown orders in India has created severe daily challenges for daily wage workers in India. Without the ability to work or to leave the home, families are unable to purchase food and hygiene items for everyday use. Through the education program, WeEducate, of the Indian Samaritans, the Indian Samaritans have related to the community members in two densely populated communities in Delhi – Kirby Place and Nangli Jalib. Out of the relationships with families and community members from these two areas, the Indian Samaritans have started to respond to the effects of the lockdown and the pandemic.
Indian Samaritans have created agreements with several food markets within walking distance of Kirby Place and Nangli Jalib. The markets will package kits including rice, lentils, flour, oil, spices, sugar, tea powder, bathing soap, and detergent to last for one week for a family of six members. The Indian Samaritans is then distributing coupons to families, so they can go to the market shop and pick up a package of food and soap at no cost.
Each kit will cost approximately $10.00 for Indian Samaritans to provide to one family, and they hope to provide 20,000 kits to families over the upcoming weeks.
Update: June 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic and the strict lockdown orders in India has created severe daily challenges for daily wage workers in India. Without the ability to work or to leave the home, families are unable to purchase food and hygiene items for everyday use. Through the education program, WeEducate, the Indian Samaritans have related to the community members in two densely populated communities in Delhi – Kirby Place and Nangli Jalib.
To make sure everyone received a voucher for a kit, teachers from the WeEducate program walked through communities to provide vouchers for each family. On distribution day, families arrive at a local market, and exchange their voucher for a package of rice, lentils, flour, oil, chili powder, coriander, turmeric, sugar, tea powder, bathing soap, detergent, and hand sanitizer to last at least one week for a family of six members. Indian Samaritans made agreements with several local markets to put together the kits in order to make them more accessible for families.
Reverend Santosh George, local pastor and director of Indian Samaritans shared in a recent message to Global Ministries: After distributing food and hygiene packages and looking at the gravity of the crisis, we feel we have only touched a tip of the iceberg. But as Mother Theresa once said, if we do not do what we can, the ocean will be one drop less. Whatever Indian Samaritans has been able to do, we know it has been helpful for many families in Delhi.
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