Providing India’s vulnerable women with essential support.
For many years, Sampurna had been able to feed her family and make ends meet. She had worked hard to do so. She felt privileged to be able to leave her home to work in the fields when many of her friends were not allowed to. They were kept at home doing domestic duties even though their children went hungry due to lack of financial support from the male members of the family. Sampurna was proud to be able to work hard and earn a living even if it was exhausting. The job of transplanting rice seedlings in the paddy fields was physically demanding. Hours and hours of back–breaking bending and digging was hard, but it meant she had enough rice to feed her family and, on occasion, extra to trade for other essentials. In the evenings she sewed to earn a little bit extra.
Sampurna’s home was a temporary shanty on the edge of a slum, close to the town where our partners live and work. Although the building had at one time been home to a business, today, with its broken–down walls and crumbling façade, it housed at least three families. She had worked hard to make it as comfortable as possible given its location and the poor facilities on offer. Sometimes they had power, sometimes she had to work by candlelight, but at least they had a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. Sampurna couldn’t afford to think about what would happen if the building collapsed or if they were evicted by the owners. For the time being she had some security.
Then COVID struck and everything changed. Her children could no longer go to school so didn’t get the extra food once available there. It wasn’t safe to go into the fields because of social distancing and her sewing job ceased to exist. How could she keep her children fed?! She could not even pick the Kermutha (water spinach) which was so rich in nutrients and which she used to supplement their diet. She had nothing to trade and no possibility of earning any money. Sumparna was desperate. She was unable to sleep at night worrying about what would happen to her and her children. She did not want to fall into the trap of marrying her girls off as young as they were, because if she did it would mean finding a husband who would take them for no dowry which would inevitably result in an abusive marriage. Catching COVID almost seemed like the least of her worries.
Into that scenario came our partners who have worked so hard reaching into communities just like Sampurna’s with the message of the gospel. They brought plenty of food to last a while with the promise of more to come. As she looked at the large bags of rice and groceries, she was so thankful that for the next few days she could sleep and eat with peace. The tears which rolled down her face were tears of relief and joy.
Provide relief to women like Sampurna through our Action Fund.