Asha COVID-19 Emergency Response: Asha provides slum dwellers with essential needs as they face massive unemployment

Dr Kiran: “Hello everyone, both the first and second wave of the pandemic in India have seen massive unemployment among the urban poor. They had not even recovered from the effects of the first wave, when the second wave struck.

The poor therefore have no money for food, for health care, or for rent if they don’t have a shanty of their own.

If Asha had not been there to help them, they would have had to borrow money from money lenders to buy food. The interest rate is 60- 120% per annum.

They would have had to borrow money from money lenders for treatment of illnesses as well. The public hospitals are all only for Covid patients. Private ones are impossible to afford. Without Asha, not only would they have borrowed money, but would have been cheated by quacks and local healers.

Many people would have been thrown out of their homes if they could not pay the rent.

The public distribution system (PDS) is terribly flawed, with about half the urban poor having no access to food subsidies.

Thank you for helping Asha provide them with food, health care, and money, to meet their essential needs. And thank you for helping us comfort them when they are so worried about their next meal.

In the long term, may we help them get on the path of recovery, resilience and self reliance.”

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