Hope to survival amidst COVID-19

With the whole world coming to a standstill and struggling to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a section of the population that has lost their livelihood and earning. Sailam Raihing, a single mother of three children who hails from Paorei village,  Ukhrul district of Manipur was also left jobless and struggling to support her family. 

Previously she had worked at a restaurant earning Rs. 7000/- monthly. Spending a huge portion towards her children’s education and the rented room. Being the sole bread earner for the family of four, the lockdown had left her life miserable and struggling to make ends meet. 

She was able to manage a few initial weeks by digging her savings and using up the provision stocked at home, but the situation worsened up with time. She then resorted to selling “ShingJu” (a popular Manipuri snack item) at roadside shops earning about Rs. 100-200/- a day for a few weeks but couldn’t continue it further due to several norms in the state.

With the ever-increasing prices of groceries and vegetables etc. she was left worried about how to provide for her three children. The paddy cultivation brought some hope, as she engaged in the field of others as a daily wage labourer earning Rs.300/- a day, and sustaining her family with this. Some timely initiatives of the state government providing dry ration for a few days and other help has also eased her hardships to an extent.

We at CASA are working tirelessly to provide people like Sailam and help fulfill the needs of vulnerable communities. When her story reached the implementation partners of CASA based in the Ukhrul district of Manipur, called Action of Women in Development (AWID). She was provided with dry ration and hygiene kits, under CASA’s COVID-19 Response Programme. 

She mentioned that she barely earned Rs. 200-300/- during the lockdown to support her family which is increasingly making it difficult to sustain herself and her families on a daily basis. There are many people like Sailam Raihing who are waiting for some ray of hope. Desperately looking forward to the support from State Government and other organizations for relief packages etc. to survive amidst COVID-19.

Story By: Langhu Hringjangam – Coordinator, Manipur

Written by : Shivansh Anand, Intern