Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Charity

Agriculture is at a standstill due to failing rains and other factors. Even grass for cows becomes impossible, and distress sale of cattle begins. And then families lose the only asset they possessed. Some families, especially those headed by a single woman, or those where there is chronic illness, get into a spiralling loop of debts and face destitution.

There are some like Eashwaramma, landless and debilitated by a lifetime of poverty and ill health. After her son died and next her husband died, the two small grandchildren were left completely dependent on her. This family had no income source except a small quantity of milk sold from the only asset they owned, a cow. Which also had to be sold away. Food, education of the children, medication, and miscellaneous expenses needed to be addressed.   

Others like Varalu are young single mothers. Her husband abandoned her when she was pregnant with twins. Assetless, with limited schooling, she needs to to bring up three children. Ways to help her earn need to be worked out.

Kala’s young husband is into drinking and she is trying to bring up her two small daughters on her own. Her health is compromised, but there is no money to address that.  Annapurna after a broken marriage has been  trying to     rebuild her life singly.


Some interventions

Eashwaramma's expenses have been underwritten with a standing account at the local shop. She collects provisions for her and the children, and cash for any health needs, clothing and educational needs. Her cataract operation was handled. She is also on regular ayurvedic tonic medicines as we are dealing with  a lifetime of poverty and undernourishment. 

Varalu has with much sincerity taken on some tutions we have asked her to. She has started making pickles against orders we can organize. She has taken responsible charge of the ayurveda work in the village. She has gained the confidence that comes out of being able to earn for her children, as well as doing meaningful work. 

Annpurna has been processing and marketing pickles, amla products, tamarind etc. that we have been able to find her a market for. Eashwaramma, Lakshmikantha and others now wish to also do such production. We need to work out more products and a wider market.

A glass of milk daily for all the children along with some basic ayurvedic medicines has so substantially addressed their health condition, and they no longer suffer from malnourishment and anaemia.. There are deeper problems to address - why there is no milk at home for the children, why even if they have cows they have to sell every drop as that is the only source of income for the rural community in these droughts.  

Health needs of the community are being handled.
Step by step ...

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