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They eat only when 'outside' help is provided, or else sleep empty stomach: NGO note

Counterview Desk 
On May 29-31, 2020, even as volunteers of several civil society organizations (CSOs)* provided relief measures among marginalised communities in Delhi -- De-notified Tribes (DNTs), garbage pickers, the nomadic Sansi community, Deha Samaj, Valmikis and others -- with the help of local welfare organizations, found that during the lockdown they were unable to get work and feed themselves.
A note based on the interaction, which took place even as providing them with dry ration kits, soap, masks, towels, etc., as also small monetary to a few families to buy milk, medicine and essential items for women and children, revealed that most of the families were in a “very deplorable condition.”

Excerpt:

The first area of work was 13th Block Kalyanpuri, Jalebi Chawk which is a resettlement colony. People living in this colony are from Grihera Samaj who are often called as koli/kodi samaj and are from de-notified tribe (DNTs). People from this community are engaged in the professions of ear brushers, masseur or wrestler. We were able to provide monetary assistance to 25 such families. 
Here are excerpts from the relief team's interaction with them:
Reema, husband was diagnosed with polio four years back and is unable to work. She used to work as a domestic helper but since lockdown is unable to go to work and had received no pay. Her family migrated from Aligarh years before. She and her family are surviving on food which is being distributed in schools by the government. She mentions that May 31 is the last day of food distribution. She is clueless as how she will manage to feed herself, her husband and two little kids after the food assistance is stopped. 
She is clueless as how she will manage to feed herself, her husband and two little kids after the food assistance is stopped
Bucha is a woman who has four young kids with her. Her husband has abandoned the family since lockdown. She has been receiving assistance from her neighbors. She asks for help with teary eyes as she tells us that she has received only 5 kg wheat and 2 kg rice for a family of 5 from the ration store. No other assistance has been provided to her from any authority.
We also met two girls aged 13 years and 14 years who are international wrestlers but are now struggling to eat full two meals a day.
The second area of relief work was in Ghazipur’s Sapera Basti. Most people survive by begging and some occupations include stone grinding and making tin boxes. We provide monetary assistance to 25 families. 
Here are some experts from the interactions:
Puttan hails from Lucknow and is engaged in making grinding stones. Before lockdown he used to earn Rs 200-300 per day. No one earns except him in his family. He has received ration only from the social service or govt. bodies which distributed dry ration kits in lockdown 1.0 or 2.0. Now no one comes to assist them how so ever.
Manu with her family of five migrated from Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh, 30 years ago. Since then she says she has been feeding her family either by working as a daily wage labourer or by begging. She tells us that since lockdown, her family and the community has been able to eat only when some outside help is being provided or else they often sleep empty stomach.
Chote used to work as a mason before lockdown. His work has been shut completely and to feed his family he has been selling fruits but still unable to earn properly. He explains that after the initial lockdown, people came forward to distribute rations etc. but it has completely stopped now.
The financial situation of all these families has deteriorated due to the lockdown. Before the lockdown, they were able to meet their normal house needs from their business or work, but now a situation of starvation is standing in front of them. 
Women and men are all unemployed and are not getting any financial assistance from anywhere. The young children of these families are starving. The sick and the elderly are becoming critical due to lack of medicines.
--
*Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch (DASAM), National Alliance of People's Movement ( NAPM), Ambedkarwadi Lekhak Sangh (ALS), Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG), Magadh Foundation, Rehabilitation Research Initiative, Natt Ghumakkad Samaj Kalyan Samiti with the support of Delhi Forum, SRUTI, Helping Hands Charitable Trust and fellow friends and Youth Welfare Association (DYWA)

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