Lockdown with No food, No Money and No Parents…

Lockdown with No food, No Money and No Parents…

Reena picked up the phone when it rang… Upon listening to the familiar voice of her beloved Sheetal didi, the Social Mobiliser from Room to Read (an international NGO) and her mentor, tears started rolling down her cheeks and she started howling… 

Reena, a student of Grade 8, is a beneficiary of Room to Read’s Girls Education and Gender Equality Program since 2017 in a small village in Tilda block of Raipur district of Chhattisgarh. She explained to Sheetal didi that her parents, daily wagers who had gone for contract work to Hyderabad, got stranded there due to the lockdown. She was alone at home along with her elder brother (in grade 12) and younger brother (in grade 4th), fending for their survival themselves at this age. The children had no means of contacting their parents as the talk time was over and could only pray for their safety. However, the extension of the lockdown put them in dire straits as they were essentially left with no food, no money, no guardian, and no way of contacting the guardian either. 

A worried Sheetal (SM) explained to Reena the various contingency measures by the government to help the needy and advised her to contact the local authorities. 

With the life skills training received from Room to Read’s Girls Education Program about critical thinking, Jageshwari put her training to practical use. Along with her older brother, she met the members of the gram Panchayat (the local village level administrative unit) and shared their problems. She firmly requested for constant supply of food material provided by the local government.

Much to their excitement, the Panchayat provided the essential food material and their immediate problem of getting food was resolved. Though the financial problems continue, Jageshwari ensured the basic survival of her family during this time of the coronavirus pandemic by the skills she had learnt and the thoughtful but accurate and timely advice of the Social Mobiliser who was reaching out to all the beneficiaries of the program and enquiring about their well-being. 




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