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Safe In India-Manzil COVID19 Worker Relief Week Two Update; more, better and learnings.

Dear Supporters of Indian workers

Since re-purposing Safe in India and Manzil, to assist urban workers for COVID19, here is an update of spend with your donations. We have quickly increased assistance as follows in the second week:

Indian passport-holders paying from their Rupee accounts/cards:
Foreign passport holders OR foreign currency payers:
  • Need for food is increasing in the remote villages we are serving: Number of adult units served increased to 18,910 adult units from 13,670 in the first week to 3000+ adults (each adult unit is a day’s rations or one hot meal). Villages covered as of now: Basgaon, Bhangrola, Kakrola, Kasan. Kho, Manesar, Naharpur, Nawada, Basai-Kadipur.

  • Additional Focus on quality of nutrition: Our 10-day ration pack had grains, pulses, oils, biscuits, soap, etc. We have now added Besan on advice of health experts. Also started serving 500 nutritious vegetable pulao meals per day to supplement Kasan village Sarpanch’s meals of rice, daal, etc. Added bananas: served 1,000 per day for two days.

  • We returned to many families after 10 days and found increasing troubles both physical and mental. Some communities have disappeared eg. a Rajasthan community seems to have walked away to their homes overnight.

  • Many daily earning trades may not recover for months: The remote kaccha houses we are assisting have a pattern of trades they do: rag-pickers, sugarcane juice street vendors, barbers, etc. It appears to us that even in a phased reversal of lock-down, many of these trades will not return to normal for a long time given the disease risk, which would be lower/more manageable in, say, factories.

  • We have again asked the ESIC Board to improve/accelerate their actions for the 4 crore formal-sector workers and their families: We had recommended a number of measures to ESIC to proactively respond to COVID19 given their large pool of physical and cash resources on 19Mar20. We are pleased to see some progress and are trying to influence ESIC board members to step up further. They can make a massive difference with their resources. Here is our status update and recommendations to ESIC.

  • Most contract workers have not been paid yet for March: We interviewed 28 workers registered with ESIC/employers on 7th April and found that more than 75% of them had not been paid yet for March and among those paid, two-thirds had not been paid in full despite the government guidelines to do so. We have escalated this to Haryana Chief Minister and Gurgaon DC. Here is media coverage of our findings.

We will continue developing our assistance to the 1,000+ under-served migrant families we have identified and expand our efforts every week as we garner more resources.

Thank you for your support. Keep safe! Team Safe in India

Indian passport-holders paying from their Rupee accounts/cards:
Foreign passport holders, foreign currency payers:

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