COVID - 19 Response
“My wife mixed water with leftover flour and fed my hungry children so that they can sleep. Meanwhile I wept silently “, said 39-year-old Vipin while he was narrating the troubles, he had to face during the COVID – 19 lockdown.
A resident of Shamsabad Colony in District Palwal, he lived a happy life with his wife and four daughters and worked in an auto manufacturing company. They lived a decent life with INR 10,500 as monthly income.
An accident in February 2019, turned his world upside down. He lost vision in his left eye, more than half of his jaw was damaged and his leg was broken. After getting admitted in hospital for more than 40 days and spending INR 1.5 Lakh, his treatment is still going on. Given that he was now physically challenged, his employer terminated his employment. With no other option at hand, he had to take a loan at 3% per month from a local money lender to manage his house and ongoing treatment. His wife started work as a domestic help to supplement the meagre resources, and the children were shifted to a public school to save resources.
Since the lockdown, his situation has worsened. Due to incomplete documents, he could not avail the benefits offered by the local administration. With no income, even from his wife’s end, they were left to curse their fate. Some neighbors did help with some ration but that was not enough.
Vipin was identified as a vulnerable group, disproportionately affected by the COVID crisis, by the assessment team and was given a dry ration kit. He was in tears and said, “Everyone I knew, had started keeping a distance. I was helpless. I am thankful to CARE India and Coca-Cola for helping in my hard times by providing me dry ration for 30 days.”
During COVID – 19 crisis, Coca-Cola and CARE India provided dry-ration kits with meticulously curated food items to meet specific nutritional needs of various marginalized groups such as migrant workers, daily wage earners and people living with HIV/AIDS across various parts of the country. The three-month-long programmed benefited over 1.5 lakh people.