FAR FROM HOME, NEAR TO STARVATION

40-year-old Babli Tulsiram of Ambada, Madhya Pradesh, has a family of seven to look after.  With the nationwide lockdown, the rate of unemployment has increased unprecedentedly, with Babli being no exception to this suffering.

Each year, her family migrates seasonally. This year, during the Kharif season, which is the most productive time for cultivation for farmers to maximise their output, she was compelled to undertake seasonal distress migration to the neighbouring district of Khargone, which is known for its extensive chilli cultivation.

Babli was working in the chilly fields when the lockdown was announced due to Covid-19.

“I no longer have a job at the chilly plantation. Far from home, we were worried and unable to provide food for our children.”

They waited anxiously to return to their native village. With the end of the lockdown nowhere to be seen, the District Administration arranged a vehicle for them to return, but they had no money left to serve their basic needs.

“Essential foods and household items are either in short supply or charged at exorbitant rates. This adds to our burden of failing to maintain food security for our family, with the government support of 35 kilograms of rice not being enough.”

On discovering Babli’s dire conditions, CASA, in collaboration with partner organisation Spandan, provided dry ration and hygiene kits to Babli’s family. “We could not have made it to the end of the lockdown if it wasn’t for the support we received.”

 

-Written by Isha Sharma, Intern, Communications