The last few months have been quite challenging for all of us as a nation. And for the ones already socio-economically disadvantaged, the situation has been worse! Following the loss of livelihoods amid the COVID-induced economic distress, we saw visuals of massive reverse migration as lakhs of migrant workers started heading back to their villages. And then, during the struggle with this unprecedented pandemic, as the states of West Bengal, Odisha and Maharashtra witnessed devastating cyclones, Assam and Bihar had to bear the brunt of catastrophic floods.
Responding to the crisis, our teams across the country have initiated efforts to enable them to earn a living, including planning collective livelihoods and enterprises. In rural areas, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is a major source of livelihood for communities. Through a campaign together with our allies and volunteers, we have so far been able to enable 1,31,427 individuals to access work under MGNREGA across Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Besides, in Odisha, as part of our livelihood-regeneration efforts, we have provided kitchen garden and seed support to a total of 879 families across the districts of Bargarh, Kandhamal, Nuapada and Sundargarh. Also, 164 families in Nuapada were supported with bamboo seedlings. In West Bengal, we distributed chickens and accompanying supplies to 310 families hugely affected by Cyclone Amphan in South 24 Parganas, focusing on single women, persons with disability and the elderly. As part of efforts towards women’s economic empowerment, we have been reaching out with varieties of vegetable seeds to women farmers practising collective farming in Nalanda district of Bihar. Gauravi, the one-stop crisis centre run in Bhopal for survivors of violence with the Women and Child Development Department of the Government of Madhya Pradesh, is creating livelihood opportunities for survivors. In collaboration with Studio Jammin, women survivors are making face masks in huge numbers and are selling them through Studio Jammin.
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