COVID-19 continues to have devastating impacts on people globally. In India, where more than 4 million people have contracted the virus, communities living in informal housing settlements are especially hard hit. “In my 20 years working with the poor, I have never seen such dire circumstances,” says Dr. Saini, Founder and Executive Director of Save Kids Trust.
The people living in India’s informal housing settlements, commonly referred to as ‘slums’, are extremely marginalized, often lacking access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunity. As communities of day laborers, who work long hard days for a day’s wage, unemployment is rampant. Similarly, with minimal access to education, families do not know how to protect themselves, and with minimal access to hospitals, they are unable to seek testing or treatment if they suspect they are ill.
With most breadwinners out of work, the communities with which Save Kids Trust works are highly food insecure. In response, the Save Kids Trust team is stocking basic food staples and distributing them to vulnerable people, especially widows and pregnant women who are often forgotten but particularly in need.
In addition to providing emergency food aid, we are focusing interventions on educating communities about preventative health so that they can keep themselves and their families safe. To promote education and health awareness, the Save Kids Trust team is implementing outdoor patient programs where families and individuals can learn about a wide range of topics including personal hygiene, social distancing, wearing masks, and how to stay safe when back at work.
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