Amidst the coronavirus crisis and the consequent lockdown India’s tribal people are facing double difficulties - scarcity of food and lack of awareness about the preventive measures to curb spreading of the deadly disease.The innocent people mostly living in remote areas have limited access to information.
ISKCON India’s Tribal Care Trust initiative has been actively involved in reaching out to tribal people through its food relief facilities, but now devotees have also taken on the additional responsibility of educating people about the importance of social distancing, maintaining hygiene, as well as informing them about the symptoms of COVID-19.
The devotees through their food relief operations currently reach more than 25,000 tribal families in the remote areas of five states, namely West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.
“At most places we serve hot food on a daily basis, however, in some areas raw food items like rice, vegetables are being supplied, which can keep for weeks,” said Bhakti Purshottam Swami, one of the chief organizers of the ISKCON India Tribal Care Trust. “Our objective is to serve quality food, prepared in the most hygienic environment,” he added.
The Tribal Care Trust is a unique initiative of ISKCON, which started in 2014, and since then it has been relentlessly working towards uplifting the tribes’s socio economic conditions so that these people don’t feel completely cut off and isolated.
The Tribal Care Trust also runs many schools to cater to the educational needs of the tribals. Over the years, the tribals have developed lot of faith and trust in the devotees, which helps in communicating with them, especially during difficult times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.