We are all aware of the serious implications of COVID-19 for almost 9 months during 2020. It was the first experience of a pandemic to the current generation including us the Board Members. We did not know how to face the situation and address the issue for about one month. But soon after the second lock down period Island Trust decided to get out of the locked doors and help the poor tribal communities and the Persons Living with HIV/ AIDs. God was so helpful to our Trust to reduce the hunger and disease of our focus group people. Island Trust was instrumental in providing relief to the people affected by COVID -19 lock down and consequent loss of employment and income.
We started approaching the local philanthropists from across the state for donation to help the victims. We were able to mobilize about Rs.36,000 within a few days. With that we started to buy dry ration materials and supply to the needy people. The District Collector asked us to extend our help to the Corona infected families in Kandhal village in Ooty Block. We bought relief materials worth Rs. 20,000 and distributed to Corona infected family members and their neighbours. Thus initially we were able to reach 50 families. The relief materials were distributed through the revenue department officials and local volunteers.
During this time we wrote to our overseas donors and individual friends. They started mobilizing funds for us. By the time the World Wide Foundation, New Delhi approached us and donated Rs. 50,000 for purchase of relief materials. With their help, we distributed relief materials to 100 tribal families in our project area.
Later the Human Rights Foundation, Chennai extended a big hand to help 300 families at a cost of Rs.1000 per family. They paid the amount directly to the supplier of the materials and we did the identification of beneficiaries and distribution of the relief materials.
In the meantime our foreign friends came forward to help the poor victims to the pandemic situation. Martin Luther School from Rimbach contributed Rs.50,000 for providing relief food materials in the tribal villages. We reached out to more than 140 tribal families with their help.
Then South Asian Pharmaceutical Council from USA donated Rs. 1,83,375 to help the PLHIV community in the whole district. We organized distribution camps in 4 taluks and distributed nutritional food materials to nearly 178 patients in the district.
TAMWED also raised funds for the tribal communities which were deep down in the hill areas and sent in Rs. 1.87 lakhs to help nearly 200 tribal families in 8 villages.
Ms. Sonia Sudhakar, daughter of Dr. Parvathy Nayer did a fund raiser through crowd funding method in UK and she was able to mobilize 2000 Pound Sterling and rooted that fund through TAMWED in the month of October. This amount was spent in Semmanarai, Thalamokkai and other hamlets in that area covering about 200 tribal families.
Martin Luther School has donated again to help 50 very poor families and children for 3 months from November. We have identified 50 families of widows, disabled, aged single persons and PLHIV widows in Kotagiri, Coonoor and Ooty areas. We have done two rounds of distribution during the last two months.
Corona was a blessing in disguise to the tribal people as well as other people who we serve. We were also able to mobilize so much of foreign funds during this period of 8 months to help the poor families. So far we have helped more than 2500 families in a solid way from April 2020. Currently we are promised of support to 1170 families by a CSR project through an NGO in Dharmapuri. We will get the materials by the end of May 2021 or early June 2021.