NAFISA lost her four-month-old baby to hunger.
Mubina, a tailor, has been out of work since the pandemic induced lockdowns. Her family is starving. She doesn’t have a ration card and hence cannot access the subsidised rations through the government’s food aid programme.
Kesariya lost her son. Hunger and helplessness pushed the young man to take his own life. Her family was without food for weeks with no aid in sight.
Raju, a ginger farm employee, lost his job since this year’s lockdown began. With no shelter and food, he was found foraging for food at a garbage dump by the road side when a good samaritan intervened and helped him.
The hunger crisis is widespread and engulfing both India’s rural hinterland and urban areas alike. There are millions who cannot feed their families and the coronavirus has only exacerbated an already existing hunger problem in the country.
Fighting a dual battle: Hunger and COVID
An estimated 189 million people in India were already undernourished before the pandemic began. According to a study released earlier this month, the first wave of COVID-19 pushed 23 crore more Indians below the poverty line, among them 90 million children who have been deprived of midday meals – the one assured meal per day – ever since schools have been shut.
So, despite the devastation being caused by corona’s second wave, for a large part of the population – which includes daily wage workers, agricultural labourers, construction workers, street vendors, small hawkers, etc – hunger is a more real, potent threat than the virus.
Millions across India are unable to make ends meet. A recent COVID-19 Livelihoods Survey by the Azim Premji University showed that hundreds of thousands of families have been compelled to reduce their food consumption during the pandemic.
At 25+ million, India now has the second highest number of total coronavirus cases after the United States. The pandemic has severely disrupted food security and nutrition, likely reversing the progress made towards the goal of ending hunger by 2030. With livelihoods lost because of the contagion and no income, lakhs of families belonging to the economically weaker sections have been pushed into poverty and are facing starvation and malnutrition. As Covid-19 rages on, thousands are losing their family members, and more families are losing their incomes, leaving them unable to cope.
What is even more alarming is that the country’s overburdened healthcare system is not adequate to protect vulnerable people and their families. They are more susceptible to the virus due to poor nutrition and little access to items such as soaps, masks and sanitisers and live in conditions with poor water supply and sanitation.
During the COVID-19 outbreak last year, GiveIndia quickly responded to the plight of millions fighting hunger. This year too, we seek your contribution to save the hungry from starvation. Our mission fundraises for impoverished families to access food and rations during and after COVID lockdowns in a number of states to sustain themselves.
₹1,750 will provide for 2 meals a day for a week to one family and ₹500 can help a poor family with one week’s ration. Each meal will be a nutritional platter comprising healthy staples like rice, daal, vegetables, chapati and more. Rations kits will contain daal, rice, salt, oil, atta, masala, tea, sugar, etc.
Your contribution will help protect families from malnutrition and prevent hunger-related illnesses. Donate now to help hungry families survive the pandemic.
Samar is a Marketing Communications specialist and freelance writer. She has a master’s in marketing and creativity from ESCP Business School. She is an avid traveler and likes to write about technology, travel, wildlife and sustainability.