Last year, when all of India went into lockdown because of the coronavirus, millions of poor men, women, and children were forced to walk thousands of kilometres from the mega cities and back to their villages - to broken huts, fallen walls and dirty drinking water. Most of these were day labourers who became jobless overnight, and soon on the verge of starvation. Dreams and hopes were shattered within a few hours.
Among the poor and marginalized are most of India’s 200+ million Muslims, living hand-to-mouth. Their daily wage would scarcely be enough to feed the family and saving or investing money for the future is not an option.
OM and partner organisations are reaching out to many of these families with emergency relief, including distribution of food, hygiene, and medical packs, as well as oxygen machines and cylinders for COVID-19 patients. Teaching of reading and writing and income generating skills, is part of the regular ongoing help.
In addition to the pandemic, a severe cyclone struck the state of West Bengal, damaging many homes. OM and partner organisations were able to provide food and tarpaulin for 50 families to make temporary shelter.
“The help provided gave opportunities for teams to build relationships, pray with people, encourage, and give trauma counselling,” shared the team leader. “Many received Jesus as their personal Saviour. As a result of the food and relief project, about 30 new house fellowships were started.”
5$ (4£) provides one blanket, 15$ (£12) provides one hygiene pack and with 22$ (£17) one foodpack is paid for.