COVID - 19 Response

Mrs. V. Samrajyam does not have to worry about arranging meals for her family for the next 45 days during these COVID 19 times. Till a few days back, she was in distress and under severe stress.

She belongs to the handloom weavers community in Mangalagiri, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh. At age 63, she is a daily wager and earns INR 300 per day for her hard work. Being the sole earner in the family, she has to look after all the household expenses and a bed ridden husband. Her two married daughters stay with their respective in-laws.

Her miseries began with the onset of COVID – 19. She had no work and struggled to arrange for daily meals, medicines for her husband and pay rent. Lack of documents could not help her avail the government relief support. In the lockdown, an alternative employment was out of the question.

In her desperation to meet the daily needs, she had to mortgage her ‘Mangalsutra’, a heart wrenching act for a Hindu married women in India. Inspite of that, she could sustain her household for only 40 more days. As her situation worsened, she took a loan from her employer at an exorbitant rate of 36% per year. She agreed to repay the loan by deducting a specific amount every day from her daily wage for the next three months.

At last her fortune turned for the better. She was identified as a beneficiary by the Emergency Relief Team and was provided with a dry ration kit consisting of 30 kgs of rice, 6 kgs of dal, 3 kgs of refined oil, 4 kgs of sugar, 250 gms of masala powder, 5 soaps and 1 kg of salt.

“I am grateful to CARE India and Coca Cola foundation for feeding my family. These provisions are of good quality and I like the variety. I can’t express how relieved I am!” she said, relieved for the time being and fervently hoping that the lockdown is lifted soon and her life can come back to some semblance of normalcy.

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 marginalised groups such as migrant workers, daily wage earners and people living with HIV/AIDS across various parts of the country. The three-month long programme benefited over 1.5 lakh people.

CARE India Team