EMERGENCY RELIEF: WAVE TWO
VIJAYAWADA, JULY 2021: KISES continues to go to every length possible to support the poorest and most vulnerable families and children living in appalling and often dangerous conditions in the dumps and slums of India. The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has hit hard in India and those living on the very fringes of society in crowded and unsanitary makeshift homes are at risk every day of succumbing to the killer virus or simply starving.
KISES founder Mr Shoury Babu Rebba has been in constant contact with volunteers in the UK who are seeking funding to support the charity’s projects.
Recent money raised was sent direct to KISES , free of any administration costs, and has already been put to the best possible use providing desperately-needed emergency relief to overlooked tribal people. Such basic needs as rice, vegetables, blankets, towels and soap, detergent, face masks are hand sanitizer have been distributed by volunteers to around 150 families, while a mobile school has been in operation to provide some basic education for slum children.
KISES has always focused its efforts on the most underprivileged members of Indian society who miss out on any Government support due to their tribal status.
“These people are not migrants from other countries, they are all Indians without identity,” says Shoury. “They often do not stay in one place for long and don’t have houses or properties.
“They live in overcrowded, temporary makeshift huts along the sides of agricultural fields or canals and try to collect waste materials and pick rags to sell. This is their only means of survival. Government help does not reach these people because they don’t have addresses or Government identity cards. KISES is trying to discuss this issue with local government officials to see if it is possible to arrange ID cards for them.
“It is very hard for these tribal people during this lockdown period because they don’t have any work or money. We are providing emergency relief provisions and they are so grateful for our help. It would surely save lives if we could get help from government also.”
On May 4, 2021, The Guardian newspaper reported the following:
“India has passed a grim milestone of 20 million Covid-19 cases amid growing calls for the country to go into a national lockdown. On Tuesday, India reported 357,229 new cases over the last 24 hours, while the number of deaths rose by 3,449 as a deadly wave of the virus showed no signs of relenting. Many health experts believe India’s true death toll to be five to 10 times higher than official data.”
Amid this grave crisis, KISES India has stepped up its efforts to protect children and families living in the slums of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. Under the guidance of KISES founder Mr Shoury Babu Rebba, a team of dedicated young volunteers has been visiting slum families in their makeshift homes, offering advice and support to some of the country’s most vulnerable people.
Once again, the emphasis has been on good hygiene and staying safe, despite claustrophobic living conditions in the slums. Thanks to a donation from KISES UK, volunteers were able to distribute food and dry rations, along with masks and hand sanitizer.
Children were once again reminded of the importance of wearing face coverings and washing hands whenever possible, but overcrowding remains a problem with large groups often sharing the same unhygienic living space. Adults are without income as they are unable to work, during the current crisis and have no government assistance.
If you feel you can help in any way please click on the DONATE button at the top of our Home page and give what you can to help India’s most vulnerable children and families. All monies received will go directly to the Emergency Relief fund, which is run entirely by volunteers.
KISES UK volunteer Meriel Woodward has also set up a new emergency relief fund at https://www.givey.com/meriel Read Meriel’s blog about the situation in India. (UPDATE: relief fund appeal raised £3,455 – thank you to all of our generous donors)
PREVIOUS UPDATE, VIJAYAWADA SLUMS, 2020:
KISES India was delighted to announce the official launch of its Mobile School, following a brief inauguration ceremony at the Vijayawada city dump.
The school is at the forefront of a campaign to bring relief to marginalised children and families living and working on the dump, whose only means of income is from ‘rag-picking’. This means that each day they sift through mountains of waste using bare hands and feet for small amounts of metal and plastic to sell to recyclers.
The mobile school is part of a wider programme which will include regular health camps and the delivery of clean drinking water and freshly-prepared food to the dump-dwelling community.
In attendance for the opening ceremony were KISES founder Mr Shoury Babu Rebba and Jem King, of KISES UK – a fundraising arm for the small Vijayawada-based NGO.
“KISES has achieved great things for some of the most overlooked and downtrodden members of Indian society since it was founded in 1999,” said volunteer Mr King.
“We have worked with these families living on the dump for several years and this new Mobile School will hopefully herald a new beginning for all their children.
“We have excellent young teachers to help introduce them to the world of education and doctors willing to come and meet the medical needs of people who live and work in the most dangerous and unhealthy conditions imaginable.
“This programme is so typical of the work KISES does with those often shunned by society and literally at the bottom of the food chain, so KISES UK is delighted to have played a part in making this possible.
“Potential donors and sponsors who are impressed by the efforts of Shoury and his wife Rajani should be aware that more projects are already waiting in the wings for funding to come along, while the mobile school will also need ongoing support.
“I would urge any companies worldwide with a social conscience to step forward and allow KISES to expand its operations for the benefit of thousands of the world’s most needy and vulnerable people – and that goes for foundations, organisations and even individuals who think they might be able to help.”
Other KISES projects already in the pipeline are a Mobile Health Clinic providing medical care to impoverished rural villagers in Andhra Pradesh, an Animal Rescue Centre and a Residential Care Hostel for children of fishermen who are forced to spend long periods at sea.
There are also efforts to expand the KISES Mobile School Programme by acquiring additional vehicles in order to take classrooms into deprived and slum areas in Vijayawada.
Read more about the Dump Humanisation Programme.