Other non-profits have also re-channeled their efforts to lockdown relief work. In Dhanusha, the Mithila Wildlife Trust, which is involved in biodiversity conservation through community forestry, has redirected its effort to help families in distress in 15 districts in Province 2 and beyond.
With support from the UK-based charity Chora Chori, it is helping families in Dhanusha, Sunsari, Saptari, Bara, Siraha, Mahottari, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Parsa, Makwanpur, Nawalparasi, Kapilvastu, Chitwan and Butwal.
“We are trying to reach the unreached, and are getting calls for help from the Musahar, Dome, Chamar, Tatma, Khatbe, and Chepang, Dhangar and Dalit communities,” says Dev Mandal of Mithila Wildlife Trust which has distributed food to last two weeks at a time for 1,800 families.
The Trust’s package includes 15kg of rice, 3kg of lentils, 2litres of cooking oil, 2.5kg of onion, 1kg of potato, 1kg of soybean, 1kg salt, and two bars of soap. It augments the package with beans, eggs and fruits to meet the needs of the most vulnerable even within these groups like pregnant women and infants.
“Many from these communities are suffering from hunger and malnutrition due to the lockdown, but do not have citizenship certificates making them ineligible for help from the ward committee, which is where we come in,” says Mandal.