Of course, Covid-19 also affects our project countries India and Nepal, but in very different ways. While India has the problem of a very large population with 1.3 billion, Nepal focuses on Kathmandu and other cities and care must be taken to ensure that the virus will not spread to the mountainous regions. What’s the status?
For us, Covid-19 came at a very unfavorable time. From April, the start of school operations and vocational training was firmly planned and the last preparations for the Children’s Emergency Aid. All of this must now be re-initiated with the government authorities. The lockdown in India was extended until the end of May. The situation is still unclear. Meanwhile, cities and districts in the states have been classified into risk areas (red, orange, green). Varanasi as the seat of our partner organization CIS and training projects is in the red area, the Sonbhadra district in the green area. However, it is unclear what will happen after the lockdown (probably in early June). Our partner organization distributes food packages to particularly needy people to prevent them from starving.
We very much hope that our programs can start again in the coming weeks and months.
In Nepal, hundreds of thousands of people from Kathmandu have fled to their mountain villages. There is a lockdown in Nepal until early June. Our partner Dolpo Tulku Charitable Foundation has set up a relief campaign in Kathmandu to provide very needy people with food packages. We support this project financially. All schools in the mountain villages are now closed by order of the government. This means that there are currently no classes in the schools in Saldang and Nyisal. The schools are used as quarantine accommodation, partly in tents on the school premises for those returning from Kathmandu.
Many people suffer very much from the lockdown and are desperate because their small earnings have broken away. The people in the mountain villages work in their fields. An important source of income, the collection of the medicinal mushroom ‘Yartsa Gunbu’ has been canceled for this year. The yak owners are currently not allowed in the lower regions to graze their animals. You have to get tested first. A very difficult situation for all mountain people.