Soon after the announcement of nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 in March 2020, Atchayam Trust has initiated several projects to provide cooked food packets to homeless and destitute people in Erode city, nearby towns and villages.
Supply of Food Packets
- From 25th March to 3rd April, 2020 a total of 450 food packets were given along with a half liter water bottle. Food packets were also distributed to about 650 people staying on the streets, roadside, temporary shelters, etc.
- We also developed a database of 350 people including their basic details and reasons for being homeless. Also, we have given 220 full ration kits to the slum people.
Supply of Food Packets - From 25th March to 3rd April, 2020 a total of 650 food packets were distributed to the people staying on the streets, roadside and temporary shelters.
Temporary Shelter for homeless and destitute people
We approached the Erode City Corporation to arrange facilities for the accommodation of homeless, beggars, and destitute people staying on the street and living on roadsides. Erode City Corporation gave us the Government Middle School near Railway Junction to accommodate 87 persons from 3rd April, 2020 and we have taken care of them till June, 2020.
- Out of 87 persons, 2 were female, 85 were male; one is below 18 years age and 12 persons were aged over 60 years. One woman with an infant child was sent to a caregiver home.
- For more than 90 plus days, we provided them with food and shelter with at most care, and guidance to rehabilitate them into mainstream life after the lockdown is lifted.
- We also provided multiple use cloth masks (times), cloths (inner wear, lungi, towel, bed sheets and bags) and toothbrush, paste, soaps for bathing and washing clothes.
- We organized medical camp along with the support of Erode city Corporation to check the health condition of all the persons staying in the temporary shelter.
- Yoga training and few basic physical exercises was given in the morning. In the evening, awareness about COVID, hand wash techniques, life skills values were imparted.
- Through professionals, community counseling was organized for psychological imbalances, de-addiction of drugs, alcoholic, and mental balance.
- Sports activities were also organized to keep them engaged.
- We also identified their talents through imparting basic skills and team building to help them look after themselves, for housekeeping, book reading, cooking, looking after hygiene and sanitation.
Job placement and supports for self - employment
Throughout the Camp, we closely studied each one of them and documented their profile inorder to identify their talents and cross-check with others on the same.
• Out of 87 persons, we have created job opportunities for 40 persons (46 %) now and placed them with an average salary of Rs.10,000/- per month with free of cost food and accommodation by the employers.
• It must be noted that many of these persons were randomly engaged as a pickpocket, addicted to alcohol and drugs. We have been monitoring all of them and will continuously monitor them for the next three months.
We extend our gratitude to Vellalar Educational Institutions, CII-Young Indians Erode Chapter, Olirum Erodu Foundation and Rotary Club of Erode for their generous support and encouragement.