There are two types of people who badly affected with lockdown announced by the Government on March 24, 2020:
Kusum distributing masks in Shivpura (Left) and essential commodities in Kharkhad(Right)
These low paid workers, labors and temporary employees became empty pocket within one or two weeks of their retrenchment and could not buy food grains on their own. Also, the small shops of food grain in local areas were closed where they could buy some food stuff on credit. This worsened the situation.
Though the Government has made arrangement for supplying food grains i.e. wheat powder, rice, pulse, sugar and cooking oil for the migrants put in camps until the trains or buses are allowed to run, but many of them are deprived to get these food grains in lack of proper identification documents i.e. registration, ration card, personal identity card, voter’s card, Aadhar card etc. GBS took care of such people in a very distressful situation and distributed food grains among them. The support received from HSHR and the Runnebaum Foundation for this humanitarian purpose was great and beyond words.
Kusum distributing food grain packets and masks among the women in village Maliwas
Though the food grains stuff distributed by the Government should have been enough to survive, but most of the people also need tea, sugar and biscuits etc. which were not distributed. Furthermore masks and sanitizers were not distributed to them by anyone. After notifying these facts in a random survey through cell phone, whatsApp and messages, GBS decided to distribute both the items required by the people i.e. rice, tea, sugar, biscuits, roasted grams (ready to eat) along with sanitizers packed in small bottles and washable masks. The women and girls informed GBS personnel and volunteers that they didn’t have access to sanitary napkins, therefore GBS produced sanitary napkins at its unit and distributed among the migrant women and girls. It was appreciated by the Government and media (see news clippings) as well:
Looking at the situation of silent spread of the virus and increasing number of patients regularly it looks that supply of food and other essential commodities and masks, sanitizer and sanitary napkins etc. would be needed to keep continue for 1-2 months more. Trains and buses have not yet started to run for many parts of the country i.e. Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bengal etc. and more than five thousand laborers retrenched from their factory or other jobs are eagerly looking for these means of transport to reach their home as soon as possible.
Kusum and Gautam distributing food packets, sanitizers and masks in Khawarani
Therefore supply of essential commodities will be required for these migrating people until they are staying in camps. According to a Government source trains/buses could be started for their destination any time in July.
Kusum distributing masks, sanitary napkins, sanitizers and essential commodities in village Sarjoli
Also, GBS continued to feed the birds near Amber Palace area where hundreds of birds, particularly the pigeons used to come in the morning every day in search of food and lots of local people would come to feed them. But people stopped to visit the area because of lockdown. So, the birds were starving and lots of them were died as the policemen paying their duty in the area told to GBS. Kusum Lata Jain took this duty up with permission from the local police to save the life of the innocent birds. She served the birds properly with grains i.e. millet and roasted gram and fresh water as well daily in the morning and sometimes two times a day during the whole lockdown period. It is still continued with support from HSHR and the Runnebaum Foundation.
Sarita and Kusum motivating the women while Anjana waiting for patients