It can be hard to find the good when our way of life has been turned upside-down. Many of the Covid struggles we’ve seen here at home are amplified in countries where people live with less. Less opportunities to work from home, less medical staff and vaccines, less access to sanitation, and less reliable food structure only begins to scratch the surface.
We wanted to share an update from our makers in India on how they are coping.
The rates of Covid infection continue to rise dramatically and less than 1% of the total population (of over 1.36 billion people) have been able to receive the vaccine. The vaccine is being offered in government hospitals at no cost, but the long waiting lines have made it impossible for most to receive it. Some private hospitals have offered a priority vaccine (at the USD equivalent of $4) but this cost is out of reach for many in the most vulnerable of situations. Most homes have many people and many generations living under one roof and when one family member becomes ill, it’s near impossible to quarantine or isolate to avoid the spread.
Grade school in India is not free, and despite having been closed for the last 9 months, parents are still expected to pay tuition because the school must continue to pay teachers. Many parents have been out of work and have been unable to pay, causing schools to adopt a “No fee, no exam, no promotion” policy. The ripple effect of this has caused many children to stop attending school, and we fear the affected children will simply not return.
We continue to partner with our makers to offer steady work, reliable pay, and accommodations to tend to family matters, but many citizens aren’t afforded these same flexibilities. It is our hope that in the future we can continue to grow our network of makers to help as many people as possible. All are deserving of a dignified job but in reality, there’s a limit to the impact we can make at any given moment. We feel so fortunate to have such a loyal group of customers who have allowed us to make a significant impact to date and appreciate the support of making a purchase, sharing our story on social media, and referring friends who appreciate handcrafted items. Each time you take one of these actions, you are directly impacting a woman who relies on your kindness to care for her family.