When India locked down because of COVID-19, millions were stripped of the ability to work for their daily bread, many of them stranded halfway between ‘here’ and home. They face possible infection—and starvation.
Mast Ram, widowed mother to three young daughters, depends on two sources of income to survive: a daily wage of less than $2 working on a farm, and a monthly payment from the government of not quite $20.
Both dried up when India locked down. “Due to the lockdown I have no job and no source of income,” she said. “All my money is finished. So I started feeding my three young girls rice with water, made with crushed onions or tomatoes.”
Meanwhile Alli, his wife, and their five children had been living on one meal a day—just a handful of boiled potatoes and green chilies shared amongst the seven of them. Alli had recently lost his job. By the time lockdown happened, what little money he had was already spent.
Millions like Mast Ram and Alli depended on their daily income to feed their families. Also among the most vulnerable were millions of migrant workers who—without jobs due to the lockdown—had no way of getting home.
Road, rail, and air travel came to an abrupt halt. Some chose to walk hundreds of kilometers to return home. Others sought shelter in public spaces like train and bus stations. All were pushed to their limits—hungry, fearful, and at-risk.
“Hunger will kill us before coronavirus,” said some of the desperate people our local partner met.
But hope is never lost when God’s people are present. We thank Him that, through your gifts, Samaritan’s Purse and our partners distributed emergency food to approximately 15,000 men, women, and children. They also handed out food and water to countless people waiting to get home.
“When Mr. Alli heard that we were providing food kits, he ran toward us with his kids to receive the food,” our partner told us. “We could see tears rolling down from his eyes.”
These kits include items like rice, oil, dhal, eggs, noodles, and spices. Soap and masks are also provided to help keep families safe from COVID-19.
Please continue to reach out to the world’s suffering through your donations and prayers—keeping with the heart of Christ who, when His disciples wanted to send 5,000-plus people away to find their own food, instructed them: “They need not go away; you give them something to eat” (Matthew 14:16, ESV).