“I have faith in people and their capacity for action”
These words of Vicente Ferrer, the founder of Rural Development Trust (RDT), couldn’t hold more truth than in these difficult times. In the midst of this global crisis and the anxiety it induces, stories of solidarity and positivity by people are becoming a ray of hope.
The work of RDT to respond to the crisis began since the outbreak of the novel corona virus in India. Currently the emergency response focuses on:
- Distributing over 6,700 cooked meals as well as dry rations and essential provisions everyday to migrants, jobless daily wage labourers and people in vulnerable situations.
- Producing and distributing materials like hand sanitisers and 100% cotton cloth masks. So far over 32,000 masks have been distributed free of cost to the RDT grassroots staff working on COVID awareness, police officers, ANM nurses and government employees.
- Conducting awareness sessions on safety measures continuously in all the villages using materials produced by RDT (pamphlets and posters made in consultation with RDT doctors.)
- Preparing RDT’s medical infrastructure as quarantine centres and training the staff to ensure their safety as well as the patient’s.
In all these different areas of work, people from different walks of life are contributing in ways and means they best can. Through them we are witnessing the power of solidarity and empathy which strengthens the response and makes it possible for us to reach out to as many people in need as possible.
Around 650 people have so far donated to the food distribution programme that was started by RDT on 31st March in mostly the slum area.
People from Madakasira have come forward to donate a huge amount of rice, vegetables and other everyday food items to the RDT canteen that is preparing cooked meals for distribution.
“We can’t cook in such large quantities but we know there are many people who are in need of help and through RDT, we are able to help them out,” said one of the villagers who contributed to the programme.
Even a mandal vikalangula samakhya from Kanaganipalli supplied large quantities of different vegetables to provide for the labourers and those for whom this lockdown has brought harsher consequences.
In Uravakonda, farmers came forward to donate quintals of chillies and groundnuts to distribute among those in need.
“We saw the process of RDT’s work in the news and how the lockdown affected the supply of provisions. We were inspired by the response work and we wanted to provide part of our yields to support the programme,” said a farmer who donated to RDT.
People from the village of Maravapalli contributed together to provide rice and groceries to a group of people whose livelihood depends on performing circus.
Government employees and locals are volunteering and offering their services in our response work.
In the midst of this all, a hockey coach from the Anantapur Sports Academy, Balvinder Kaur, donated a generous amount to RDT’s COVID response work.
And finally, a heart-warming example of Preethi, a child of one of RDT’s staff, willingly donated all her pocket money savings to RDT’s response work.
Our staff are continuously conducting awareness sessions, distributing essentials and preventive materials in numerous villages in this critical time. They are ensuring that people have access to right information and do not panic or suffer in the midst of this lockdown. We are proud of them.
“I believe we can overcome this crisis mainly with solidarity and the people coming forward to support our work is an example of that. At the heart of all the work we are doing is the will of the people to reach out to those who affected in whatever ways they can. It is moving,” commented Anne Ferrer about these positive actions
It warms our hearts to know that people believe in our work and mission and want to do their part to support us. Such people encourage us and add meaning to our work. We are hopeful that through such positivity and kindness, we can overcome all adversities and like everything else, this too shall pass.
Text: Felita Viegas