GUWAHATI, April 18 - Reaching out to the women in need who are not covered by the government schemes or are cornered in other relief distribution processes, the North East Network (NEN) has started distributing essential items for them to survive the extended lockdown period.
The pandemic that has had a massive impact on people�s lives and livelihoods, has hit hard the marginalised women who are mostly into petty jobs, do not have access to the relief distribution channel and are helpless because of absence of any source of income. NEN has reached out to 1,000 households within a week�s time in the first phase of their relief work across Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland.
In Assam, the women�s rights group has distributed relief materials in Darrang, Dhemaji, Golaghat, Kamrup (Rural and Metro), Karbi Anglong, Sonitpur, Cachar and Udalguri districts.
�We have tried to reach out to the poorest of poor households and our criteria for distribution included women without ration cards, differently able women, single women like widows and divorcees, survivors of domestic violence, female-headed households, abandoned women with minor children, homeless women, needy weavers, marginal farmers, petty vendors, daily wage earners and other such vulnerable sections,� NEN said.
The rights group also responded to families that have not received cash transfer or aid from any source earlier. Many families do not posses ration cards or have their cards at home in villages. Hence they are not able to access State entitlements.
�For us, it became extremely important to meet their needs. Long-term restoration and rehabilitation will be extremely crucial for government, especially in the context of assuring incomes and mental well-being of affected people,� sources in the NGO stated. The relief items included rice, dal, potato, salt, soap and oil. About 250 masks, made by rural women volunteers, were also distributed among needy people.