Children on the Edge - Bihar, India 2020
Responding to Covid-19 - Food packages for Dalit families
Supporting the world's most marginalised children
Since 1990 Children on the Edge has been working with well-run, local partner organisations to deliver quality education and social support to some of the world’s most marginalised children. A punitive lockdown in India means that millions of workers that rely on day labour wages are now unable to feed their families and fear starvation far more than Covid-19.
This project will provide emergency food packages to 1500 'untouchable' Dalit families in Bihar State. Cases in India are continuing to rise and Bihar state has been designated a ‘red’ district. Lockdown in India started on 25th March, with just four hours notice. The middle classes quickly stockpiled, but the poorest people had no savings to do this. There is currently a great scarcity of food and prices have quadrupled. The government has issued ration cards but these require high levels of literacy to complete which make them inaccessible for many in the Dalit community.
Children on the Edge is extremely concerned that all the progress in educating Dalit children and communities around Patna in Bihar state over the past six years will be undone if these children and their families are unable to buy enough food to survive. Children on the Edge‘s local partner, NESWS, runs 27 learning centres in the area and is well placed to identify those families most in need.
This funding will enable NESWS to provide emergency food packages to 1500 Dalit children and their families, benefitting up to 9000 people during the lockdown period. Each food parcel will feed a family for 2-3 weeks.