Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, STEP team has been actively helping the poor and needy who are struggling to survive by distributing food packets. Rashmi (name changed) is one of the children who received a relief package of dry and nutritious food items from STEP in June 2021. Rashmi lives with her parents, her brother and sister in a small village. As a daily wage laborer and only bread winner of the family, her father had been struggling hard to provide for his family, but he has not been able to do much to support his family due to lack of work opportunities during the lockdown. They had been going through financial crisis. In this situation, STEP has been able to reach out to them and help them up to some extent. Rashmi and her parents were glad on receiving the relief package from STEP and they are very grateful to STEP for the good work rendered to them in time of their needs. Touching lives with love!
Sneha is a student in a local Anganwadi Kendra (pre-school). She comes from a very poor background as father has no job or income at present. Covid-19 lockdown and crisis has affected the family of three in a great way. Her mother is also struggling with major health problems. This family is finding difficult to survive and meet the daily needs and meals. STEP staff members reached out to this family, helped Sneha and her family with food and groceries. Not only the help was extended to Sneha but 100 children in the same area that are struggling in this Covid-19 pandemic in rural places. This act of service is a hope to many in the remote places of Odisha, India.
Anjali from a small town in Odisha, India. She, however, became a widow when her husband died in 2015. She has two daughters and one son and all of them are studying in school and STEP has helped her children’s education every year. In 2016, STEP donated a sewing machine and sewing training from our sewing center for her. She also received a small kick- start fund from us and with that fund she opened a small tailoring shop and earned an income, though meager, for her family. Due to Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, her tailoring shop was closed for many months. She lost all her monthly income from the shop and her family was undergoing financial difficulties. Anjali phoned our office and said, “I received a call from STEP and they helped financially with food items. It was a timely help. Without the help from STEP, I could not have managed my family and children.”
In the month of September 2020, 100 pregnant women from various remote villages were helped with nutritious dry food items and hygiene kits. In this COVID-19 pandemic context and lockdown situation, pregnant women are unable to receive care and help. Transportation to near by health centers is risky and rare. Hygienic risk is very high and due to low economic situation women are unable to meet the necessary nutrition for their health. With my careful investigation and survey, 100 pregnant women were identified for the relief package. Raibania village is about 4 km away from STEP Campus. A woman called “Manko” is a residence of Raibania, living in the remotest part of the village Raibania. No proper road facility to the village available. Her house is made of mud and basic facilities are rare. Her husband is a farmer and they struggle in day today life for their livelihood. She came with her husband in a cycle to receive the relief. She is really grateful and thank for the relief package in this crucial time. Manko says, “Thank you to STEP.” STEP is striving to help those in need in this COVID-19 pandemic situations. It has been our utmost desire to help as many as in the most remotest parts of the Odisha.
Surai is 55 years old. He lives with his wife and 4 grandchildren in Dharampur village, Odisha. His only son died five years ago due to liver problem. Surai is a daily labor and earns a meager income. He finds difficulties to feed his whole family and give education to his grandchildren with his daily low income. Often they go to bed without food. During the Covid-19 lockdown period, Surai could not find daily work and not able to go out. His entire family struggled to manage food everyday. Whatever help they received from the local government was running out. STEP relief team reached out the entire Dharampur village with food drive. Surai received relief food items and he was grateful to STEP team. He was very thankful to STEP team for their noble work to help out old people like him in the Covid-10 pandemic.
Mangli is 63 years old. She lives in a small village called “Rangamatia” of Kaliko Panchayat, Odisha, India. She lives alone in a small half-damaged mud-hut. She became widow because her husband was suffering from Tuberculosis and he died three years ago. Moreover, she believes that everything happened all of a sudden because of her misfortune.
Covid-19 lockdown began in the third week of March 2020. STEP moved with compassion to help people in remote villages. STEP relief team met Mangli in front of her mud- thatched house. She was without food and any essential things because she was not able to go out for work during COVID-19 pandemic situation. Mangli noticed our relief team. She was surprised to see people in front of her house.
STEP team reached out to her and explained the purpose of their visit. We handed over dry food items, a mask and a soap. She was very happy and whispered in her tribal language “adi adi sarhow” (many thanks). She also explained that she could survive at least next one week with food items that we helped her with. A small step to help people like Mangli, a widow is transforming!
My name is Subham. I am a privileged scholarship student at the Imagine school. We live near STEP campus. My father is a farmer, so our lives depend on rain for crop production for his daily wages. His daily wage is not enough to support our everyday life during this time of crises.
At the beginning of the pandemic lockdown in India, it became even more difficult for our family to survive. Making ends meet became impossible due to both the lockdown and the Amphan cyclone, which hit Odisha and destroyed the farms and fields recently, devastating my father’s income.
During this time of crisis, STEP came to our aid by providing a couple days’ worth of different food items, soaps, and masks for our family. This was a great help in our time of need. When the Amphan Cyclone hit Odisha in May 2020, our family and others were safe during this deadly cyclone because we are able to take shelter at STEP campus. STEP extended a helping hand to us and many other neighbors during this difficult time.
My name is Banita. I am one of the scholarship students at the Imagine School. I come from a poor family. My father is a daily wage laborer and earns very little or nothing at all. It is difficult for him to provide for our family and is hard for us to survive.
The onset of the pandemic lockdown has greatly impacted our family by limiting our already minimal income, food, and basic needs. The situation has left our family in a miserable condition and we were helpless. At this point of time, STEP has provided us with relief packets of puffed rice, flat rice, wheat flour, cooking oil, onions, potatoes, some sugar, packets of biscuits, soaps and masks for our family members as well as others living in our village. This has allowed our family to save up enough meals to last us longer than we are able to on our own so we can survive and stay safe. We are very grateful to STEP for their generosity during the lockdown.
Odisha, Pin. 756033