Karuna 3

Kriti is supporting specific occupation groups whose livelihood has been badly affected by the pandemic lockdowns and travel restrictions. Many families face hunger, fear of homelessness and helplessness as they are unable to continue their children's education.

The Covid pandemic has caused unprecedented distress in the world and especially amongst the people of India. The initial impact was on livelihoods, especially for migrant labour that remained stuck far away from their homes on work sites, with no work and little or no support from their contractors and employers. During the month of April and May 2020, Kriti responded by distributing over 4500 packs of ration amongst the migrant labour living in slums and construction sites near our office in Tolichowki, Hyderabad.

The second wave of pandemic brought with it a major health crisis and lakhs of people got affected with the coronavirus. Guided by a team of doctors, Kriti focussed its efforts on early covid care - helping people with mild symptoms to maintain isolation and watch their symptoms carefully so any danger signs would be quickly detected. The Kriti Covid helpline has helped over 50 people so far, with medical advice, ration support, medicine and pulse oximeters as needed. This helpline will continue to operate as long as Covid pandemic is prevalent in the city.

As the government has imposed lockdowns again to contain the spread of the virus, the focus has once again shifted to the economic impact on people and their need of financial support to avoid hunger. Kriti has already distributed over 700 ration packs to people who are in need. In the month of June, Kriti plans to support over 1000 people from specific occupation groups that have been badly affected by the lockdowns and travel restrictions. In the initial phase, Kriti is helping auto rickshaw drivers to tide over the crises and will be directly enrolling over 500 auto rickshaw drivers in our program.

Shadab is a resident of Film Nagar slums in Hyderabad who moved to this area when he was a young lad. Given his lack of formal education, he had limited opportunities to earn a livelihood and decided to try his luck as an autorickshaw driver. He took an auto on rent from a dealer nearby. On a regular basis, he needs to pay the dealer Rs 1200 per week for the auto rental. He also needs to pay house rent and support his children’s education. The lockdowns and covid travel restrictions have brought his earnings down to a low. Over the past year, there is no school traffic. Shopping and office traffic have also been lowered with many people moving to work from home and online shopping. Over the past year, he took his children out of school as online classes were not feasible. He could not afford fees and purchase of additional phone for them to attend classes. He has started sending his 14-year-old son to assist in a car mechanic shop and 11-year-old son to assist a painter. He says the job will keep them out of trouble at home.

There are many families like Shadab’s who are being driven to the brink of destitution by the loss of livelihoods. They need support for some time to stave off hunger while the country takes measures to fight the pandemic. Kriti is working closely with communities to identify occupation groups like auto rickshaw drivers, cab drivers, private school teachers whose livelihoods have disappeared with the pandemic. We will ensure that your support goes to people who really need it.