Many of you have reached out to us in this strange time to ask how we’re managing. Sadly we had to close Deepam in March due to COVID-19. India has since extended the complete lock-down until 31st of May and only essential services are operating. All schools and universities are closed and there is no public transport and no domestic or international flights. Everybody is instructed to stay at home and practice social distancing. Shopping should be limited and is only allowed in the mornings. Face masks must be worn at all times outside of the home. As many people in India live from what they earn daily, many (including the families of our children) have no income and are struggling. The Government provides a small amount of rice, dhaal, oil and sugar to the poor households, but no fruit or vegetables, and food prices are steadily rising.
We do not yet know when and how we can restart our work with the children. Never have we closed for such a long period in our 28 years so it is not an easy situation for us, however we are doing what we can. Our team is in touch with all our children by phone and we help families with food and medication where needed. We are continuing to pay our 11 team members their full salaries and we really want to continue being able to do this and to keep our experienced staff. We fear we are going to face a crunch in donations due to global financial difficulties and we are grateful for any support in these challenging times.
Fortunately there are no known infected persons in our region so far and we hope it stays that way. We hope everybody stays healthy and safe and thank you for your continued support. Best wishes from Deepam!