Two Personal COVID-19 Stories

5.24.20 COVID-19 Warrior in Mahandernagar Slum

Guddi is a hardworking EHA community leader who lives in the Mahandernagar slum. She advocates for the rights of people with disabilities, widows, older people, and other residents.

One afternoon, Guddi went with her neighbor to purchase vegetables. On her way, she saw a woman without clothes standing on the side of the road (she had a psychosocial disorder). A few policemen standing there asked Guddi to get clothes for this woman, and they gave her a ride to do just that.

When they returned, Guddi took the woman aside to help her put on the clothes. Initially, she didn’t want to get dressed, but then decided to cooperate. Guddi had to overcome her own fears of being exposed to COVID-19 if this woman was positive. In the end, she helped the woman get dressed.

The woman told Guddi that her family had rejected her and removed her from their home because of her mental state. Guddi and the police took her back home and spoke with the family.

People with disabilities are at a greater risk of neglect, abuse, and potentially becoming infected with the coronavirus. Community leader Guddi, who provided clothing, treated the woman with dignity, and reunited her with her family (despite her own risk) is a COVID-19 warrior in the Mahandernagar slum.

5.24.20 Saved from Bonded Labor by a Food Kit

Mangal Rishidev, a widower with four young children, is from a very low caste. He used to travel as a migrant worker to Delhi or Punjab to earn money to feed his family, but when his wife died, he could no longer do that. He began seeking work in nearby villages as a day laborer.

When India went into lockdown with no warning, Mangal was unable to find work. Day laborers have no savings and no cushion to fall back on. His family did receive some rice from the public distribution system, but it was not enough to keep them alive for very long.

Mangal then went to a moneylender to ask for money to feed his children. In order to pay the money back with an exorbitant interest rate, Mangal was planning to sign up both himself and his 13-year-old daughter as bonded laborers.

As this was all unfolding, a team from Madhipura Christian Hospital came to Mangal’s village and asked for recommendations for families that needed emergency rations. The village committee included Mangal on the list, and when he received these food items (pictured), his heart was filled with happiness. Now he knew he could feed his family for at least the next month, and best of all, he would not need to get money from the moneylender or to sign up to work as a bonded laborer.

This emergency relief food kit saved Mangal and his family from serious hardship, and your gifts allowed it to happen!

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