Women’s Empowerment in Indian Villages
A Call to Action!
Covid Relief Fund
The Covid-19 pandemic in India has reached crisis proportions as the infection rate hovers around 400,000 per day and the mortality rate around 3,500 at this time (10th May 2021).
Given the ongoing tragic situation in India, we asked the staff to tell us what the situation is like in the villages, what are their immediate needs and in what way can we support them.
Sunita, from our Reproductive and Child Health Programme:
“There are no facilities in the villages for doctors, medicine or food. Even vaccinated people are falling sick. People are afraid and not getting themselves vaccinated. There are no facilities at the local government Primary Health Centre in Guaru town. Patients are kept in a room in the school. There is no management of timely food or medicine for them. People are dying there. People are scared. Some died due to heart attack. The government has failed us. Influential people go to Patna or Delhi, but even they are dying. For the poor it is even worse. It is a very difficult time.”
Ritu, a colleague who helps with translation and is at present in Patna, the capital of Bihar state:
“Every day we hear of more friends and family who are sick or have died. People run around trying to find oxygen for those who are really sick. In the rural areas there are only 20 to 30 ventilators per District. There are 10 Blocks to a District. Guraru block has about 240,000 families. Oxygen cylinders are in such short supply. One cylinder used to cost 7,000 rupees and now they are 70 to 80,000 rupees. The scene here is truly apocalyptic.”
We have started a Covid Relief Fund. We will initially send $100 to each staff member to cover the cost of medicines, doctors and funeral costs. There are 21 staff. We will suggest that they spend it on their families and impoverished neighbours. We know it will be gratefully received.
Until vaccination rates reach a critical mass, it is unsafe for staff to reach out to most of the 3000 people in the programme, but we know that by supporting staff members in the first instance, they will be able to extend the support through their families and immediate neighbours and when it is safe, from there out to programme participants.
We are currently exploring other options as well, primarily the provision of Oximeters and the possibility of helping to support an oxygen facility at the central Guraru Primary Health Centre. We will let you know more as information comes to light.
PLEASE DONATE WHAT YOU CAN TO OUR COVID RELIEF FUND
Academy of Root Development Australia Inc
Please ensure you write on the Reference: Your Name plus “Covid Relief Fund”
Reproductive and Child Health
Women’s Empowerment in Indian Villages (WEIV) delivers attitudinal changes in health and well-being. WEIV imparts practical information concerning all aspects of Reproductive and Child Health. WEIV staff mobilise the community to access Government programs and ensure the Government delivers these programs.
The Reproductive Health programme addresses contraceptive awareness, pre-natal guidance, maternal health and well-being. The programme empowers young married couples to delay and space their pregnancies, equips unmarried adolescents with appropriate information regarding sexual health and marriageable age, and brings about improved demand and access to reproductive health services to the community.
Women’s Empowerment in Indian Villages (WEIV) has established eight Literacy Centres for adolescent girls aged 12 to 18 years. These girls have been taken out of the education system to help work on the land, or in other ways support their family. They come from the poorest families and no fees are charged.
Classes are held from 10am till 2pm, enabling the girls to complete their daily domestic and agricultural chores.
The girls attend for three years to gain skills in basic Hindi/English/Arithmetic. Hindi is the main learning medium. The ability to read and write in Hindi greatly increases their personal capacity and their value within their family.
Watch videos that detail the many aspects of the Women’s Empowerment in Indian Villages programme.
* To empower a single woman is to empower the whole society.
Women’s empowerment initiatives are the focus of WEIV’s working strategy. WEIV works with a rights based perspective to transform the lives of women through a focus on gender equality and justice.