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.”