Covid-19 in India

In India, a country where 60% of the population were already living below the poverty line and medical access is limited, the potential for devastation from Covid-19 is significant. In these difficult times, it is easy to forget how lucky we are in the UK. We have free health care from the NHS, furloughing and grants to help retain jobs and benefits when we are in need.

None of this support is available in India. Imagine being in lockdown when your home is a patch of pavement.

A Critical Point

The situation in India is reaching a critical point. India is in lockdown.

During lockdown people cannot work. If your job as a building site labourer is no longer required, you won’t earn your 100Rs (£1) a day and you are unlikely to have savings as a back-up. If you are already poor and have no savings, you can either beg, borrow, steal… or starve. Those already in debt are being asked to repay, even if they cannot. Those who cannot get loans from banks, get them from local loan sharks – who threaten violence if they cannot be repaid.

The suicide rate is increasing as people cannot face a future of debt or starvation, and the shame of being unable to support their dependents. Our Indian partners tell us about fathers committing suicide, as they cannot face the shame of utter poverty. And inevitably there are more and more children forced into horrendous situations because their parents cannot afford basic provisions. 

April 2021 Update from India

News reports show the heavy toll that Covid-19 is taking on families and communities right now in India. While the focus of current media is the worst hit areas in Delhi and Maharashtra, the devastating effects of Covid-19 are being felt across the country, as hospitals are overrun with patients and experiencing a severe shortage of essential oxygen supplies.

Our partners in India describe the huge pressure on hospitals in Tamil Nadu, where families are mourning the loss of loved ones who were unable to access the care that would have saved their lives, either due to a lack of money to pay for it, or shortage of supplies at medical facilities. As we all continue to distance ourselves as protection again the virus, in the communities we support self-isolating means no work and no money. The food and hygiene parcels our partners in India have been taking directly to families in these communities have been essential to their survival for months, and even more so now.

As a charity, we would love to do more for poor children and their families in India, but we are limited by the cost associated with delivering care remotely and have had to focus our diminished resources on providing basic essentials to the families of children already in our care. As a small local charity, we have seen our usual fundraising options in the UK significantly reduced by the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, and have had to budget accordingly.

We are so incredibly grateful to all those who have found India Direct and donated to our cause for the first time. Your support for our charity in direct response to the news from India will enable us to do more than we have been able to so far: supporting more families in the community with food and hygiene parcels, enabling more children to access vital education for their future, and providing healthcare (including vaccines) for those who can’t access it.

As always, every penny you donate to India Direct goes directly towards helping those in India who need it. Thank you.

You can help us.

Our local contacts, local knowledge & existing links in the community mean that we can provide effective aid and support.

We will spend 100% of your donation, directly on those projects that matter most. Truly making sure that we’re ensuring every penny, is directly changing lives.

Joy & Bethel Children’s Homes

All the children at Bethel and Joy Homes come from families who struggled to make ends meet and could not support their own children. With Covid-19, things are even worse. The Tamil Nadu government insisted that all children’s homes close and the children be sent “home” to their villages, to homes that were deemed so inadequate for them that they were brought to Bethel or Joy in the first place.

Because Annie has always had a policy of maintaining family ties, all the children from Bethel and Joy have been found a home to go to whether that’s a single parent, an aunt, or an elderly grandparent. They need our help and support.

India Direct is in a Unique Position to Help

Our local contacts, local knowledge & existing links in the community mean that we can provide effective aid and support.

We will spend 100% of your donation, directly on those projects that matter most. Truly making sure that we’re ensuring every penny, is directly changing lives.

India Direct’s Response

The Children’s Homes are still effectively active, but now not in one place – they’re spread across many villages. India Direct are giving rice, provisions & snacks for all the children and widows – twice a month as ‘support packages’. We are not providing just for the children from Joy or Bethel, but for their father or mother, their small brothers or sisters, maybe even their grandparents.

As Annie said in her most recent messages to us:

The people whom we are helping, are people who are on the edge of losing hope of the future. In their eyes we are not just some people who help them, we are miracles which helped them to believe and say “Alright we can do this. We will survive. We have a FUTURE”

We are incredibly grateful to our fantastic Trustees in India, and the staff who run Joy & Bethel for putting themselves at risk in the pandemic, to travel to local villages to distribute aid packages. We can only do this with your help.

Durga’s Story

This is Durga. She and her siblings are currently living with their father and grandparents in this tiny hut. Her widowed father is a casual labourer who, due to Covid-19, is unable to find work to feed the family. Every two weeks, Annie’s staff visit to check on the well-being of the children, and to deliver rice and other groceries to support them. The supplies are purchased in the local villages to help support their small businesses. The monthly support for this family with three children includes 35 kg of rice and costs just £30 for the whole month.

Nandini’s Story

This is Nandini with her mother and brother. Nandini’s father was an alcoholic, who killed himself through alcohol intoxication. Nandini and her brother usually live at Joy Home, but have gone back to their mother due to government restrictions. Nandini’s mother usually works as a cooley (casual manual labourer) for 100Rs a day (~£1), but there is no work due to the pandemic. India Direct is providing regular grocery and personal hygiene supplies for Nandini’s family to feed and sustain them through this difficult time.

Support Our Appeal

India Direct can’t do our vital work without your help. Whilst you can choose to make a one-off donation to our appeal by clicking below, you can also choose to commit to being a child sponsor.

For less than the cost of a coffee a day, you can change a child’s life forever. 

Monthly Donation

Scholarship Fund

£10Monthly Donation
  • Providing higher education scholarships to India’s poorest children
  • Educating them out of poverty
  • 10+ scholarships a year

Sponsor a Child

£30Monthly Donation
  • Over 25 years experience supporting children in India
  • Biannual letters from your sponsored child
  • Truly change a child’s life, providing them an education to escape poverty

Community Sponsor

£15Monthly Donation
  • To help those most effected by COVID-19 in South East India
  • 100% spent directly on our projects
  • Providing twice monthly food packages

One-Off Donations

One-Off Donation

No regular commitment. 100% of your donation will go directly towards our Covid-19 relief effort.

Every penny directly changing lives.

Or Donate by Cheque

You can also donate by sending a cheque to:

India Direct, Willow Barn, Merton Road, Ambrosden, Oxfordshire, OX25 2LZ

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