Since we last posted, a few people have asked to know more about how the migrant workers we are helping to provide meals for are coping, and what we are doing to support them. In this blog post, we take a look at what is going on in India generally, and how we are supporting migrant workers with our local impact partner, Sai Dham.
We’ve been supporting Sai Dham since before the pandemic began and, thanks to the support of our customers, have been able to fund 15,017 meals to date. Through to the end of May, for every LYB full price item purchased online, we will continue to donate 10 nutritious meals for Sai Dham to distribute to local migrant workers.
Update on the situation in India
Unfortunately, Covid-19 is not yet under control in India. The country recently extended national lockdown for the third time, effectively intensifying social hardship. Daily case counts continue to rise, while approximately 10 million migrant workers remain trapped across the country, often hundreds of kilometres from family members. Local industry and all public transport have been suspended. As a result, migrant labourers and other people such as daily wage labourers have been forced to seek shelter wherever possible.
LYB’s local impact partner
For several years now, LYB has chosen to work with Sai Dham as a local impact partner in India, sponsoring the education of girls. Sai Dham is a non-profit NGO that aims to empower and lift people out of poverty. The organisation directly supports 5000 children through their school, and 300,000 families through initiatives offering free clothing and sanitary products, education, and dental and health care. They also drive positive social change through some less conventional means.
Marriage plays a key role in Indian society. However, weddings can be financially ruinous for some families, particularly those with daughters who are often expected to shoulder hefty costs. Recognising these economic realities, Sai Dham also facilitates and fully funds communal weddings for 100 disadvantaged couples each year, thereby offering them a significant debt-free leg up in life.
Sai Dham is located south of New Delhi in Faridabad - not far from where LYB garments are manufactured. Faridabad is one of the areas in India currently experiencing escalating rates of Covid-19 infections, and has been designated a Red Zone. Unable to operate as normal, soon after the national lock-down came into effect, Sai Dham redirected its resources towards meeting the immediate needs for migrant workers and their families in this area.
Image taken in 2018 - Sam helping the cooking team at Sai Dham
Since 25 March, Sai Dham has provided 3000 daily meals to daily wage labourers, migrant workers and homeless people who would otherwise have gone hungry. The organisation has also donated 1,500 infrared thermometers to front line workers, and joined forces with the Red Cross. Now that wearing a face mask is mandatory in India, Sai Dham is also taking an active lead in getting free facemasks into communities. If you’re interested to learn more about how Sai Dham is impacting lives in real ways, check out their website here.
We recognise that some people may wish to support those in need without having to purchase or consume. That’s why we’ve made it easy to donate between 20 and 500 meals directly to migrant workers through the LYB website. We guarantee that 100% of what you donate will go to feeding workers, and you can do so here.
In the meantime, kia kaha e te whānau. Stay safe, stay kind, and look out for those who may not be able to look out for themselves.
Samantha is the CEO and Founder of Little Yellow Bird and is an advocate for sustainable and ethical fashion. .