Safe in India-Manzil 4th week update of Worker Relief; non-payment of March wages; Apathy.
Updated: Apr 27
Here is our report of progress made and challenges in week 3 of our relief, since re-purposing Safe in India and Manzil. Help us help these workers better by spreading the messages here.
ये फैक्ट्री में काम कब शुरू होगा सर. डरता हूँ कहीं फैक्ट्री की मशीन के साथ हमारे शरीर में भी ज़ंग न लग जाये.” ....सोनू, उम्र 29 वर्ष, अजमेर राजस्थान, नाहरपुर
The frustration in the migrant community is increasing by the day. The issue now is not only of food security, but of overall physical and mental health. We need to support them much more holistically and if we all (and we mean 'all') can get this right, we have an opportunity to create a much better society.
“खाने की लंबी-लंबी लाइनों से बहुत परेशानी हो रही है. अभी कल यहाँ एक महिला दो घंटों से लाइन में लगी हुई थी, वो चक्कर खा कर गिर पड़ी. बाद में पता लगा वो तीन महीने पेट से थी, उसका गर्भपात करवाना पड़ा.”....रुक्मिणी देवी, आशा वर्कर, खो गाँव
1. Now serving 5,000+ adults and children daily dry ration needs in unreached areas: This week, for the first time, we served on an average 5000+ adults and children per day. Total 26,730 daily rations (Adult units) distributed during the week (up from 18,000 last week), more than two-third at their homes (not in long queues). Of these, 283 family packs were distributed by our partner, GNEM in a co-ordinated effort in the community. We will continue to identify the most needy and provide them dry rations for their food security for 10/20 days and the dignity of cooking at their own homes as they wish.
"अब तो हम बोर हो गये हैं सर इस लॉक डाउन से, खाली बैठे मन ही नहीं लगता. अब तो पुलिस वालों ने भी हमें रोकना बंद कर दिया है, वो भी बेचारे लगता है बोर हो गये हैं.”....नरेश, सुल्तानपुर, उत्तर प्रदेश, खो गाँव, उम्र 25 वर्ष.
2. Progress on the new tie-up with local Administration: Distributed food to 250 families as identified by them and verified by us. We are expecting to identify 500 families with them coming week; additional under-serviced areas identified with Kho Panchayat Secretary and being coordinated with the DDPO.
3. 65% of workers in auto-sector supply chain still not been paid/paid fully for March and 46% have not been able to speak to their employers/contractors: Escalated the findings to Haryana Labour Commissioner, Chief Minister and MOLE. The government needs to move fast with specific support to businesses to reduce the reasons for non-payment to workers and businesses, at the bare minimum, need to own up to the need to communicate with their workers.
What will this sweeper community do now? "250 रुपये प्रतिदिन में सड़कों पर झाड़ू लगाने वाला शिबू नहीं जानता वो क्या करे, कहाँ जाये. करीब आठ साल पहले मुश्किले लेकर आया. ठेकेदार दो दिन बाद ही उन्हें उनके हाल पर छोड़ गायब हो गया. भुखमरी से परेशान 25 में से अब यहाँ केवल छः परिवार रह गये हैं, बाकी न जाने कब, कहाँ चले गये रात के अँधेरे में. एक वक्त खाना मिल जाये तो अगले वक्त का कोई भरोसा नहीं. शिबू की बीवी और तीन छोटे बच्चे भी महोबा लौट जाना चाहते हैं मगर 800 किलोमीटर का फासला तय करें तो कैसे"....narrated by Jitendra, Outreach Team, Safe in India.
4. Haryana CM Scheme of Unorganised workers is still unclear and is not for migrants who are hoping support from their home states: Launched two weeks back, it still needs a clear process, effectively communicated to bureaucracy and workers. The government officials we have spoken to admit to not know it well enough. There are lakhs of migrants in these villages but they are not eligible, as they probably need to be covered by their own home states (Bihar has launched a scheme; UP has not, except planning to get a few thousands back). The Scheme web-portal is unclear and the offline form incomplete. We have raised these detailed recommendations informally and will do so formally soon, as needed.
We will continue developing our assistance to these communities and change our service proposition as needs evolve.
Thank you for your support. Here are you, the supporters of our COVID19 relief work!
Keep safe and spread the word!
Safe In India-Manzil Team
DONATION AT (One family’s one month ration costs c.Rs2,100):
Indian passport-holders paying from their Rupee accounts/cards: www.safeinindia.org/donate
Foreign passport holders, foreign currency payers: https://manzil.funraise.org/