As COVID19 pandemic continues to spread across the world, many of the vulnerable communities including women, children, elderly, unemployed youths, daily wages earners and disabled members are faced with food security, loss of jobs and no protective equipment for their safety and security. Grassroot intervened with the aim to reduce the impact of COVID19 through short term supply of food materials, hygiene education including awareness on self sustenance.

The intervention was done in villages in the district of East Khasi Hills, East Jaintia Hills and South West Khasi Hills. Besides food distribution, we also distributed free masks hand-stitched by the ‘Self Help Group’, Shillong to the communities. The total numbers of households covered were 751 which consist of 346 in East Khasi hills, 326 in East Jaintia hills and 79 in South West Khasi hills.

Supporters and sponsors for the COVID19 relief intervention were Azim Premji Philatrophic Initiatives, Church Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), Tribal Adventurous Tourism (TAT), Meghalaya Institute of Entrepreneurship (MIE), Centre of Learning, Knowledge & Service (COLKS).

The materials distributed include rice, lentils, oil, vegetables, soya chunks, tea leaves, facemask, soap, salt and sugar. In every village, before the distribution of the dry ration, we also did a short awareness session on self-sustenance, sustainable organic agricultural practices and COVID19. This was done to further strengthen the indigenous practices and their ownership towards the same. The People of the state coming from an agricultural background are the backbone of the state. The awareness is to enhance the belief and commitment towards bringing indigenous know-how and locally grown vegetables to the foray encouraging local rural entrepreneurs to be self-dependent.

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