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India in Crisis: Samarthan

In tribal blocks of Maharashtra State’s Palghar and Thane District, with the Fund’s support, local NGO Samarthan has helped more than 8,000 people receive wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) 

The MGNREGA is one of the world’s largest public works programs. As part of this crucial benefits scheme, rural workers who have lost their jobs are entitled to a daily wage. For millions of rural laborers in India, this has been a lifeline during the country’s COVID-19 pandemic.

Samarthan has also helped resolve nearly 320 cases of wage disputes, enabling migrant tribal families to recover thousands of dollars in stolen wages.

During any crisis, children are always one of the most vulnerable groups. At over 300 brick kiln sites, the organization has ensured that Anganwadis—a type of rural childcare center led by the Indian government—are providing a nutritious diet (poshan aahar) to children in their care.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened, Samarthan has taken urgent steps to alleviate suffering in remote areas. With the Fund’s support, they are now planning to set up a 150-bed COVID care center to treat the patients with early symptoms in rural parts of Palghar.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, grassroots activists in India have come to the rescue of the country’s most vulnerable communities. Now, as a deadly second wave ravages health care and other support systems, activists on the front lines need our support more than ever. Help save lives today.