India's nationwide lockdown has hit the poor the hardest – the homeless, the migrant labour, those who live in slums, the daily wagers – India's most vulnerable population. Hungry and homeless, these Indians have no money and no food.
Oxfam India has already started work in Kerala, Maharashtra, Delhi, Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha. Nearly 22,000 packets of hot meals have been provided in Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Meals are being provided to at least 2000 migrant workers, just in Delhi. We have reached out to over 6000 households with dry ration in Odisha, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The idea is to quickly scale up the response in a big way to complement government's efforts. The aim is to reach 50,000 families (250,000 individuals) with such direct delivery support as food (dry rations and cooked meals) and drinking water, safety kits for frontline workers and essential health and hygiene supplies (soap, disinfectants, sanitisers, masks, sanitary napkins etc). The Oxfam India— NDTV #India4All telethon is a campaign that aims to raise awareness and also the money that such an effort requires. It aims to bring together India in support of its own, who are suffering terribly during a period that affects us all.
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You can continue to lend your support the cause and donate for the #India4All initiative.
Towards the end of the telethon, singer Dhvani Bhanushali supported the cause and treated the audience toher melodious voice by humming few line from her chartbuster song, "Kismaton ka likha mod do...." (Rewrite what's written in destiny)
K Sujatha Rao, Former Health Secretary on the reported fatality of India and Maharashtra versus the World:
- I think in India 2.7 per cent fatality rate is quite high as it is only at the starting stage of the pandemic and we are already this high.
- The centre is not telling the demographic features of the people affected by COVID19. We only know the age and gender of the people affected. The data is with the government and they need to put this data in public for both symptomatic and asymptomatic people, for us to formulate effective strategies to deal with the pandemic.
Based on a Government of Maharashtra paper, the number of Coronavirus infected people who are dying appears to be less in India compared to the world but within India Maharashtra's fatality rate is higher than the country's and the world's average.
K Sujatha Rao, Former Health Secretary says migrants are the most vulnerable in the COVID-19 lockdown:
The extent of the spread depends on how intermingled migrants have been with people who have come from abroad. However, we do not have the data to show that the infection is spreading among them. But this is true that they are more vulnerable than you and me. Their protection has become the primary requirement, more so because the public healthcare systems in the states that they come from like mainly Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are weak.
Dushyant Chautala, Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana says that it is a war-like situation:
We have 16,000 migrant labours who have been kept in proper quarantine centre that has basic facilities and even have TVs. The labourers are now going back, which is a good sign. The harvest time is around the corner and the workers are now going back to help the farmers. It is a war like situation and we don't know for how long we will have to fight, we have no idea. We are asking government officials to contribute to state relief funds. It is an unprecedented situation.
T Sundaraman, Global Coordinator, People's Health Movement spoke about the messaging of the lockdown:
We saw that the initial messaging while announcing the lockdown was targeted on the middle class but the economically poor classes were missing from this messaging. The health services, maybe due to lack of transport and suspended services, the migrant workers and construction workers are not able to get any medical help.
Pankaj Anand, Humanitarian Response, Oxfam India:
I think the people from the poor section are being hit in the worst way. At Oxfam, we are focusing on 3 elements:
1. How can we protect people
2. How can we protect life and livelihoods
3. How can we provide imp facilities
Dr. Sanjay Nagral said that one of the biggest emerging problems is that we will see collateral damages:
In Maharashtra and specifically Mumbai, public health is a little bit more organised and yet COVID-19 is a huge challenge there. I think what is happening now is that the hospital treating the COVID-19 patients are becoming hotspots as well. There are many theories like BCG vaccine can provide an advantage but it is still very early to say anything on these theories.
Harsh Mander highlighted the plight of the people working in the unorganised sector:
People who are employed in the formal sector have their salaries secured but those who are in the informal sector they have nothing to fall back on. Everyone who is supporting in helping to reach the most marginalised, even if they do everything in their power, there still remains a challenge to provide relief in this crisis. There is a need for the government to provide a minimum wage to those affected during this crisis to help them get immediate relief.
Professor Amitabh Kundu, Jawaharlal Nehru University on the impact of the lockdown:
Lockdown has been helpful to contain infections, no doubt. 35% of people in slums live in small clusters, the lockdown has done nothing for them. People who are in self-employment, vendors, informal sectors, atleast 20 million people are in such employment, we have not done any justice to them. Migrant workers have only faced problems in this lockdown.
C N Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka at the #IndiaForAll telethon:
The state is doing a lot of things to ensure that the lives and livelihood of people are not affected and the lives of daily wagers should be taken care of. We are trying to ensure the supply of essential commodities and all the affected people are being provided with necessary items and measures are being taken in the best possible way to help those affected.
Rakul Preet Singh, Actress talks about her initiative to help slum dwellers in her neighbourhood during the lockdown:
Since the lockdown, when daily wagers started going back to their homes and were on road, I started providing some food packets. Now, with help of my father, we identified a slum near my house and adopted it. We are providing food to the slum residents every day. It is important for all of us to forward to help everybody in need in every way we can.
Professor Ravi Shrivastava, Centre for Employment Studies on Telethon:
- It is important to supply ration and food, but alongwith this it is important to give them a small amount of money also. A lot of people who are daily wagers they do not have bank accounts and so it is necessary to see how can we put some cash in their hands. A crisis like this brings out the best in us and also bring out the worst in us.
- There are about 5 crore migrant workers but the government has been able to reach out to only 1 crore of them. The central and state government need to coordinate their efforts to help the people in need as much as possible. The role of NGOs is extremely important in this direction.
Boman Irani on the Coronavirus lockdown:
People who are privileged, stop grumbling. We need to understand that our situation could have been even worse. Take it easy. stop fussing and stay at one place and stay safe. After you stop grumbling, think about how you can help.
'Stop complaining,'says Boman Irani on #India4All Telethon about the lockdown
Actor Bhumi Pednekar talks about how film industry has come together in this time of crisis:
Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh talks about the measures the state is taking to feed the poor:
Yesterday in Raipur, we deployed two vehicles to go around and in two days 17,000 packets of ration including rice, salt and other essentials were distributed. We are also taking care of those who are from other states and working here.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Bhupesh Baghel joins the #India4All telethon.
Actor - Director Nandita Das on #India4All Telethon:
In a strange way, seeing people suffer on road, stigmatised, being sprayed with pesticide, is a conflicting experience. There are two different Indias that exist. On one hand, there are people walking miles and have nothing to eat, are victims of the situation much more than us. Then there are others who are worried about where to get their wine from, where to get balloons for their kid's birthday.
Adil Hussain, Actor on life during lockdown:
I am staying at home and really enjoying this process of playing the role of a husband and father in the house. I am a good cook and so these days I am the chef of the house.
Singer Akasa Singh provides a musical relief amidst the serious discussions on #India4All telethon around the plight of the daily wagers and homeless.
Early indications that India's infection rate may be low, but it is early to be certain, says Prannoy Roy
Model and Doctor Bhasha Mukherjee on the Cornavirus crisis:
- What prompted me to go back to medicine was guilt, knowing that my colleagues are working hard and everybody is putting in whatever they can to help out, I thought I must do my bit too.
- There is a lot of pressure on doctors. We are dealing with something we have never dealt with before. There is a lack of knowledge going around. There is a stressful environment because of lack of personal protective eqipment (PPEs), and other resources. In such a situation it becomes easy to make mistakes and take wrong decision or misjudge something and this is the biggest challenge for us in order to keep our patients safe.
Musician duo Sachin - Jagir on prevention the only option in case of COVID19 and so accepting the lockdown:
Sachin: I may not be to help tangibly but I can provide some mental relief in this situation
Jigar: We need to maintain social distance, this is the only medicine avaliable to us right now. Use technology to connect with your loved ones. Keep checking on them on their health and stay at home.
Actor and Comedian Vir Das on #India4All Telethon lists down the need of the hour:
I think there are 3 things we can do now: 1. Find charities who work towards daily wagers and are working on providing immediate relief or contribute to the PM relief fund.
2. Spreading accurate information is very important at this juncture. Please use your social media to spread correct information.
3. People in the film industry: Use your twitter, instagram to help raise awareness.
Ekta Kapoor highlights the efforts being made by her and others in the TV and Film industry to help freelancers and daily wagers to survive during the lockdown.
Ekta Kapoor on the condition of daily wagers in the TV industry:
For us TV is a much larger workforce as far as employing people on daily wages goes. A lot of people who work for us are freelancers and so it becomes difficult, but still we are directly responsible for them because they have been working with us for many years. Right now thousands of people in the industry have no work to do.
Economist Jayati Ghosh on what government needs to do immediately to ease the pain of the poor:
- We have to ensure that people have enough money to buy food and medicines. It is not enough to say that following things are exempted from the restriction, we need to make sure that the supply is enough.
- Foodgrains must be distributed immediately. In normal circumstances, it is fine to hoard the grains but now we are in a situation that these grains need to be released immediately.
Amitabh Behar, Chief Executive Officer of Oxfam India on impact of lockdown on the poor: It is an absolutely unprecedented situation. The real tragedy is that the solution we are looking at as health response is creating tragic social challenges and extremely difficult situation. Actor Siddharth Malhotra on #India4All Telethon:
It's a changed world now. Personal hygiene has become imperative. It's the nature and Earth telling us to hit a pause button. If you see, the nature is working perfectly well without us. It is a reminder that we are mere guests here on earth.
Preliminary data shows that the lockdown might be working, says Prannoy Roy
Actor Siddharth Malhotra joins the telethon.
NDTV - Oxfam #India4All Telethon to raise money for the hungry and homeless affected by the lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Prannoy Roy is ready on the set. Let the telethon begin.
The stage is set, minutes to go for the #India4AllTelethon.
30 minutes to go for the #India4All Special Telethon, technical checks in their final round
India's nationwide lockdown to fight the Coronavirus outbreak has hit the poor the hardest - the homeless, the migrant labour, those who live in slums, the daily wagers - India's most vulnerable population. Hungry and homeless, have no money and no food. To help them donate now. The 2-hour #India4All telethon aims to raise money to reach 50,000 families (2,50,000 individuals) with such direct delivery support as food (dry rations and cooked meals) and drinking water, safety kits for frontline workers and essential health and hygiene supplies (soap, disinfectants, sanitisers, masks, sanitary napkins etc).
New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV), in collaboration with the Oxfam India, a non-profit organisation, has initiated a drive to fight against coronavirus outbreak in the country. Join the campaign and help us reach out to the poor and vulnerable who need the urgent support.