Friends of Asha (Ireland)
Asha (Covid-19) Appeal
India has joined the fight against coronavirus. The message is the same there - stay home, stay safe.
But, what if staying home means living in a tiny shanty home with all the members of your family in one room, no running water and poor sanitation.
When the Prime Minister of India announced a complete lockdown of the entire nation this presented a huge challenge to slum residents. They feel suffocated in their homes. They are restless and despondent. Some are casual and careless. Many are worried about their jobs, their daily wages, their income, their food.
Dr Kiran Martin, founder and Director of Asha, writes:
Many people living in the slums of Delhi rely on a daily wage to feed their family. They don’t have any ‘rainy day’ savings or any spare cash to stockpile. Each day brings fresh challenges, and here in the slums, social distancing is a huge issue. People are becoming restless with every passing day. Long lines are seen outside government food subsidy stores and to use the public toilets. Many daily wage labourers are desperate to return to their villages. Those who are elderly and living alone, widows, the disabled, TB patients, patients with chronic diseases and thousands who can’t work are suffering greatly.
So, what has Asha done to help?
Asha has formed 19 Corona Warrior Teams made up of young people who have been volunteering with Asha for a long time. These brave warriors are going from home to home monitoring people with fever and flu like symptoms, explaining the importance of social distancing and hand washing, and working with the local police in their efforts.
They mobilised quickly to provide help in the following ways:
- visiting the elderly and sick everyday
- distributing cash to those above 65 years of age who live alone, widows, the disabled and vulnerable
- distributing essential groceries
- examining pregnant women
- providing regular treatment for the sick
- distributing paracetamol and advice to patients with fever and mild respiratory symptoms
- providing meals to the police who are working long hours
Asha Coronavirus Warriors have stepped in where the media, politicians and NGO’s have abandoned. They show empathy, compassion and care for all.
Founder and Director of Asha, Dr Kiran Martin, writes:
This is a season of one of the greatest challenges the world has ever faced. It may be a time to fight, a time to question, a time to mourn, but there is always one thing we can hold on to, Hope. Asha. Where there is life, there is hope. Hope will see us through our challenges. They will not dictate our destiny. Hope will. There is great strength in optimism. Let us surround ourselves with positive people who speak words of encouragement. This is not a permanent thing, we will surely get out of these troubles. Hope brings light into the darkest places we never thought will have light. That’s been my experience all through life. Let’s think of the challenges we have faced in the past, and have overcome them. Fear is a big hindrance to hope. Let’s give doubt and fear less room in our hearts to breathe. Hope is a beautiful thing. It gives us peace and strength, and keeps us going when all seems lost. Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.
Hope is Asha.
Your donation (no matter how small) will provide essential food and medicines for the most vulnerable in Delhi’s slums.