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Supporting Daily Wage Workers in Pune

Sharada Shinde lives with her son and two grandsons. She had to leave her work to look after her grandsons. Her son is the only earning member of the family. He worked as a daily wage labourer and managed to meet the daily needs of the family. Now due to lockdown, he is not able to go to work. “We have just been eating only rice for the last few days. Some people distributed dry food in our settlement but we did not get. We are happy that we got one-month food grains and grocery,” she said.

Women from Sahaya Single Window supported by Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) are doing humanitarian work for the most marginalized community, in urban poor settlements. Through the members of the Help Desk they prepared a list of 2354 families consisting of around 9416 family members who are in immediate need of food support from 27 urban settlements in and out of the project area.

During 7 to 19 April, 2020 the women with the support of Ashrya organization, Mashal organization, CYDA, Pune Municipal Council corporator, Solid Waste Management Department, Social Development Department, and Sadhu Vaswani Trust distributed dry food and grocery to 2970 beneficiaries from the most marginalized families, migrant, and construction workers in Pune.

Mahadevi Kambale, a construction worker, who lives with her daughter was getting regular work in the labour market and that was the only source of livelihood for them. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, all labour markets have been closed and Mahadevi also lost her earning. “Both of us do not even get two square meals in a day. We borrowed some wheat flour from our neighbour but their situation is also like ours. Now that we have received this dry ration we can manage food for a few days. With this lockdown our future looks bleak.”

“We have two sons but they do not look after me and my husband. My husband used to work as a watchman and due to lockdown he lost his job. He is a diabetic and also has High Blood Pressure. We do not have money to buy food grains and we could not get ration from any other source. Now that you have distributed the dry food and grocery we can sustain for a month. I thank all women from Sahaya Single Window for this good gesture,” says Chandrakala Nalawade.

Pooja More, a rag picker said, “My husband and I work as rag pickers. We have three sons and we work regularly to meet our needs. Due to the lockdown, we are not able to work and have no money to buy food. Since the past few days we have not been eating sufficient food. This ration you provided, will help us for at least fifteen days. There are many like us suffering without food. We request you to extend support to such communities.’’