With the gradual opening up of the Indian Railway services, came various challenges. These new circumstances meant that we needed to adapt and reinvent strategies to ensure that work on the ground was timely, innovative and reached the last mile, especially vulnerable children and their families.
As an organization, we have worked to remain ahead of the curve, to ensure that children and their rights are protected in the most dire circumstances. The coming of the Corona virus was unforeseen, but our immediate instincts allowed us to act in time. We have reached 7239 children and their families in distress, providing them basic essentials, groceries and psycho-social help, in the last 2 months and continue to do so on a daily basis.
As we write this, the number of corona virus cases are galloping upwards on a daily basis, with cases having reached165k (and counting) in India and 4971 deaths. The nation was under lockdown until 31st May 2020 halting the use of public transport, including the passenger trains of the Indian Railways. With the mass movement of migrant families from cities back to their villages, special “Shramik” trains began operation from the 29th of April, 2020 to assist stranded migrant workers back home.
As migrants and their children started to board trains, new challenges began to unfold, making them more vulnerable on train journey’s back home.
In the last few days, we have collaborated with the Railway Protection Force across all the stations of Bihar where the Shramik trains pass, with the primary objective to reach out to migrants and their children who are in transit, and support them with essential needs that are required for their safe and comfortable movement back home.
We are happy to report that we have begun work on the ground, with our teams actively taking on relief work. We have distributed 8350+ water bottles, 970 dozen bananas and 6200 biscuit packets. We have successfully provided food and water to over 1600 children and 5300 adults, who boarded 3 trains from Ghaziabad to Howrah, Gaya & Patna, another train from Anand Vihar to Purnia and 3 trains from Old Delhi to Ranchi, Darbhanga and Dibrugarh.
Over the next month, an estimated 6000 migrants and children will board 5 trains from the NCR region . We are determined to be there before they board the train, to ensure they are well-equipped for a safe journey back home.
You can help us reach children and their families boarding special trains. Here’s how:
- Rs. 120 – Feed a child and his/her parent
- Rs 1200 – Feed 10 children and parents
- Rs 6000 – Feed 50 children and parents
- Rs 12000 – Feed 100 children and parents
Thank you for your continued support.
S Navin Sellaraju,
India Country Director
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