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07 July 2020 / 16. Zil-Qad 1441

THE CURRENT SITUATION IN INDIA

The community in India is one of our largest. As soon as Covid-19 started in India, the India Federation, Jamaats, Local Charitable Trusts and the general public rose to the occasion and started to assist those affected in various ways. They also started planning and organizing for different eventualities. 

Initially, provisions for one month were distributed to the needy to see them through the month of Shaban. As time passed, more and more people became insolvent. Our community in India has a large percentage of Rickshaw drivers, owners of small stores and daily wage earners. These people thus had no means of providing food for their families. So, through the month of Ramadhan, more people had to be assisted and also a small amount of cash was also handed over to them to procure milk, fresh fruits and vegetables. Provisions of about USD 40 was the average given to each family. However, the number of needy rose and the amount of help to each also rose. Unfortunately, the organizations and the philanthropists were overstretched and thus have not been able to assist all the needy. Initially, people helped colleagues and neighbors who were non-Shias and non-Muslims. This is now getting financially impossible.

Conditions, are, of course getting worse. More and more people are joining the list of the needy. Their requirements have also become larger. They now need cash for rent of homes, stores, rickshaws, wheel barrows and so on. They also need to pay for installments to banks and finance houses. This data is being updated all the time. To alleviate such hardships, assistance from outside India will be required.  At present, the average assistance required per family per month is estimated to be 60 USD starting from Eid ul Fitr.

The community in India is integrated with quite a few sadats being from the community. Funds are therefore also required to assist them. 

The crisis and especially the lockdown have affected a lot of families regarding their capacity to earn. This will therefore have to be looked into soon and an economic upliftment plan will have to be put into place.

The World Federation’s Covid-19 Task Force has helped the various federations to share views and be more aware. Critically, via the federations, it has got the Jamaats to update their databases of the number of families and their economic situations. This has also prompted them to put together a database of Doctors and Medical personnel and form groups to discuss medical issues. The doctors have thus started online consultation with patients and pass patients on to psychiatrists if need be. The medical group has produced guidelines for the public on how to keep the virus away. Currently, they are working on guidelines for those who are Covid-19 positive and their households. 

Thus, the current fund drive currently happening at The World Federation level is becoming critical. For relieving a family for a month with rashon needs, $50 per household will go a long way. We have over 4000 Khoja families all over India (let alone tons of sadaats and others suffering) due to the lockdown WF COVID-19 Emergency Fund is raising funds with current estimates of PPE for burial needs; $12/set and Basic Necessities (food, ration, medicine) $50 per household and month. Every little bit can help! If you like to donate you can do so by visiting our appeal page here

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