What is the state of migrant women and children during COVID-19?

While many of us in the cities are grappling with our privileged obstacles, several migrants stuck in different cities are walking back home or are staying to get their salary that is due for over three months as they battle to get one meal a day. This is the reality of India today.

According to the Indian Census, 30 percent of India’s population are migrants who travel within the country. All the migrants are either below the poverty line or are in poverty. During this pandemic, they have been pushed into extreme poverty as a result of many problems. In this situation, the most affected are children and women. According to a study conducted by UNICEF and Save the Children reports that the number of children living in poor households across low and middle-income countries could increase by 86 million to reach 672 million by the end of 2020 due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. This means that children who are attending school may drop-out due to poverty. They will face various other issues like lack of access to health care, education and nutrition. Children of migrants are also at a higher risk of being sexually abused due to them living in groups and in temporary shelters during the lockdown.

In Punganur, Andhra Pradesh, where we work, 20 percent of its rural population working in the cities as daily labourers, small scale business owners and those from the informal sector have returned back to their villages. This has led to the increase in the number of women and children being abused.

The National Commission for Women reports that during the national lockdown there has been a 50 percent rise in domestic violence cases. 32 percent of the cases are due to abuse from husband and relatives. Victims of domestic violence are at-risk of acquiring chronic disease, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. Crime rates against children have also increased during this lockdown. According to the Government helpline for children, they have received 92,000 calls on child abuse and violence in just 11 days. What should be a place of protection and safety is an extended captivity not just for many women but also for children trapped in the house of their abusers.

In response to this situation, our team is spreading awareness among the beneficiaries through calls and WhatsApp groups. We are also actively partnering with like-minded organisations to develop strategies in protecting children and women from violence in a time of crisis. We are committed to implementing a robust mechanism of prevention as we work towards developing a network system with the State and Civil society.

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                        click here – OASIS INDIA’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Dear Partners & Supporters,

As we are heading towards the end of 2020, it’s good to look ahead and think about what the new year may unveil.

But first, let’s take a quick look back. 2020 was quite a year for all of us. We are grateful that we were quickly able to respond to the COVID-19 situation and provide relief aid to over 3000 affected families across Chittoor, Chennai, Mumbai/Thane and Bangalore. We also went ahead with the Mukthi Bike Challenge and even launched the Madras Fuse online portal. The year also brought with it other big challenges but with the boards’ complete support Oasis India is geared for compliance as we enter the new fiscal year.

I would like to start with a huge thank you to all members of the committee of management, sub-committee, and society members – Thank you for all your wonderful contributions towards the growth and success of our mission. We strive to put our communities at the heart of everything we do and we sincerely would like to thank all our sensitive donors, front line staff, the many change agents and volunteers for their trust, support and excellent cooperation with us.

All our staff love what they are doing and our beneficiaries can feel that in every interaction. I wish that we continue to be challenged by our mission – to work in an inclusive, integrated, empowering and comprehensive way so that all people experience wholeness and fullness of life, and guided by our Vision – for community, a place where everyone is included making a contribution and reaching their fullest potential.

I wish you and your families a joyous, peaceful and restful festive season and all the best for the New Year 2021.

Mangneo Lhungdim
Executive Director
Oasis India