Covid 19 update

This message, just received from Jim, gives an update on the serious situation in Madurai.

(Chandran is a key worker in Jim’s team.)

“Chandran’s fever has gone which is a relief but he still has headache and from Monday he also has diarrhoea which is a concern. He went to the hospital but there was no test conducted and the doctors gave medicines only for fever. He came to the office today but I advised him to stay home and get back only after full recovery. We have to be really cautious as the virus spread has reached all 100 wards of Madurai city. Confirming our worst fears now it has reached the Melavasal slum. Yesterday two women were tested positive and today one more added to the number. They are all scavengers and might have caught the virus from the work environment as they are not provided with any protective gears. Recently we joined an advocacy on this matter and approached the high court to direct the city corporation authorities to provide protective gears to frontline workers, especially the sanitary workers who always work in most unhygienic conditions.

Please share the above information with our New Dawn supporters. I don’t want to plant worries in the minds of our friends but I do appreciate the prayer support in this regard. Now our only hope is God’s intervention in protecting the Melavasal community as there is no scope for social distancing either in the family or in the community. I was surprised to learn that even in the UK social distancing is not maintained. If this is the reality just think about thickly populated slums that we partner with. Everyday we see a spike in the cases. Our lockdown has been extended till July 31st and the public transport will not resume. This lockdown again caused loss of livelihoods. The sponsored children’s families are blessed as we have now started transfering Rs.5000/- to each family from the special grant that we received from New Dawn. Many families called me and thanked us for this timely help. So far we have done 67 such transfers and are working on the rest. Unfortunately the banks are closed during this lock down which again caused lots of trouble. We’re not very sure of the impact of lock down in containing Covid.

We don’t know when we’ll be able to get the children’s letters to you as the overseas postal service hasn’t yet resumed. We’re thinking of providing a nutrition kit to each sponsored child in the middle of July. We’ll be able to open our centers only after the reopening of schools and other educational institutions. It looks like it may be in the end of August or the first week of September.

Our office is fully functioning and our Childline and Reception Home is also in operation. We are taking every precaution to protect the children in the Reception Home. Please do pray for this that our children’s home is protected.”

Covid 19 Update

During the lockdown in India, parents of our Vidiyal children have been unable to earn any money for food. Jim sent us an urgent request for help and, with the generous help of many supporters and sponsors, we have been able to send out support to the Vidiyal families. After the first round of distribution, we were also able to help other families in the slum. It is now time for a second distribution and the following is an email from Jim.

Dear Friends in NewDawn India,

Loving greetings to you from Vidiyal family!

How are you? Hope this email finds you all in good health and everyone in the family is fine too. Our lock down is much relaxed now. The threat of Covid 19 is still there but there is so much good work happening and people are willingly supporting each other. I am pleased to let you know that none of our communities are infected, Madurai is in the red zone though.

I feel highly elevated to share this happy news that yesterday we began the 2nd round of distribution of relief kits.  The total cost of each kit is Rs.1250/-. This is a good price we got from a wholesale supplier who has been our supplier since 1997. The real value may be up to Rs.1,500/- During the first round of distribution he couldn’t supply due to the lock down.

More good news is that this time we got a donor for vegetables and he was good enough to offer support for adding snacks for children in the kit. Yesterday’s distribution covered 103 sponsored children’s families.

Preparing for the vegetable distribution

Every family thanked Vidiyal and New Dawn for this timely support that’s too for the second time. Many said that only because of Vidiyal they coped with the lock down with lesser difficulties. Many asked me to thank New Dawn and inquired about your well-being. I could meet a few children too who asked the same question that when will be the centre opened.

Distribution in Melavasal

They are all very appreciative of the quality of the materials supplied by Vidiyal. We are planning for the next distribution on the coming Tuesday. Take care and stay safe.

Distribution in Muthupatti

Thank you very much for your encouragement and emotional support.