March 31, 2020
The Prime Minister of India announced a 21-day lockdown last week in connection with the corona crisis. The whole country is at a standstill, nobody is allowed to go outside and public transport has come to a halt. Now that there is no more work in the factories, households, mines and construction sites, millions of people no longer have an income. The 120 million migrant workers who have travelled to other regions of India to work are particularly hard-hit. They have no income, no food and often no, or poor, shelter. In the sectors where Arisa is active, we hear from our partners about the fate of migrant workers who are trapped without any income in the places where they previously worked in international value chains such as quarries and clothing factories that produce for the European market.
The Indian government has announced it will provide food or money. We hear from our partners that it may take a while before food and money reaches the right people. In addition, it is unfortunately not always possible for labour migrants to claim the existing government programs. That is why these millions of migrant workers now want to return home. Images of large groups of people who walk hundreds of miles to re-join their families appear in the media, with all the associated risks.
All factories, mines and yards are closed due to the corona virus. (Migrant) workers without contracts are on the street. Our partners in Rajasthan aim to assist the most vulnerable, including migrant workers, workers with silicosis (dust lung disease) and widows of workers who have died from silicosis in the form of food and / or money.
Our partners in Tamil Nadu, which is home to many garment factories and spinning mills, are currently active in distributing food to the most vulnerable workers to avoid starvation. Partner SAVE receives emergency calls from migrant workers in Tirupur about their health and safety. Their wages are not paid, they have been left in their temporary accommodation by their employers and there is no adequate food supply. Fortunately, SAVE has already been able to provide some supply of basic foods such as wheat flour, potatoes and onions for these migrants. SAVE, in collaboration with local authorities and organizations, wants to be able to continue this support for the next few weeks.
Arisa would like to help its partners in the natural stone and clothing industry in the role they have now taken on because of the corona virus and to support their activities locally. They have experience and the network to ensure that the money reaches the most deprived persons. If you, as a company or private individual, are concerned about the fate of workers in these sectors, we ask you to make a donation to Arisa so that we can channel these funds to our partners.
You can transfer your donation to account number: NL81 TRIO 0379 313 200 (BIC code: TRIONL2U) in name of Arisa Foundation. Please indicate donation natural stone sector, donation clothing sector or donation partners Arisa. In the latter case, we will divide your donation between the two sectors. We will ensure that your donation reaches our partners as soon as possible.
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