Thankful to be able to share
By Shin YeaSeul from JTS India
India couldn’t escape from the pandemic either. The government of India imposed a ‘stay at home’ order across India starting in late March. JTS India also suspended most of its projects including Sujata Academy in accordance with government policy.
Fortunately, there are no cases in Dungeshwari where JTS India is located, but many COVID-19 cases and even death cases occurred in nearby town so all the Dungeshwari villagers and JTS staffs are being alert and being cautious. The price of essential food supplies such as rice, flour and potato has risen steadily due to the intercity transportation ban. Children who used to have lunch at Sujata academy are now having lunch at home. With two to three students per household, it is not easy for a family to pay for the needed food, now. Most of the villagers in Dungeshwari who had a steady income are now without jobs. Villagers are selling goats, wood growing in the yard, and fire supply made from cow dung to come up with cash.
Village development team of JTS India hold 4 poverty relief programs a year. This one is the second program for the year. The program starts at 10 AM, and people are lining up at the gate already at 7 AM.
Total of 67 households are getting 20kg to 25kg of rice, 5 kg of yellow beans, 1 liter of cooking oil, and 2 bar soaps. We are also providing women’s clothing made by sewing class students at JTS India. Mangos grown from Sujata Academy Garden are also given out along with the goods.
In the past, JTS India provided rice straws to the families that need roof repairs every rainy season. But the price of rice straws has tripled this year making it difficult to add them as part of the relief goods. So waterproof tents are being provided instead to 15 households that needs roof repair.
Most of the villagers of Dungeshwari are poor, but the people who are receiving relief supplies on this day are especially needy ones. They are disabled, widows without husbands, families with young children, and elderly people without families to support them.
The government pays 300 rupees a month, but even this amount is not regularly given. Government sometimes skips three months at times. So some started begging at the nearby Hindu temple, and some started working for the rich farming families. However, the elderly are barely managing to get by picking up the wheat and rice ears that others have shed while farming and harvesting.
The faces of the villagers who are receiving the goods are joyful and happy. Neighbors are helping to carry 20 kilograms of rice together for the elderly who can’t carry it on their own. Three children around 10 years old are carrying home 20 kilograms of rice, saying their mother is out so they are carrying them instead. It must be quite heavy, but they gladly carry them home. One elderly woman went home but came back asking for one more mango, saying, “There are too many children at home.”
JTS staffs feel the warmth at their hearts thinking the villagers won’t have to worry about eating for a while and won’t be worried about leaking rain on the roof in the short coming rainy season.
I would like to express my gratitude to JTS sponsors all around the world.