The situation with Covid-19 in India is hardly manageable and predictable. The DELTA variant has plunged the country into a serious health and economic crisis. It will not be possible to determine how many people became seriously ill or died from the pandemic. But the effects on people and our work are enormous. In the long term – as in many other countries – the poor and socially weakest people of the population are most affected. This will pose further challenges for our work at the Keshwa Child Welfare Center. Our partner Creation India Society will try to improve the situation step by step with all available means.
Our complex Keshwa Child Welfare Center project was in the starting blocks in March 2020 after the completion of our new building. We had the permits to start our little school and the vocational training program. The local government agency granted us the license to work with disabled people. The Outreach Program with the care of needy families in the surrounding villages was already in motion. The Women Empowerment program has also started little by little. Only for the ChildLIne Services Program the license was still not granted. As a result of the pandemic, all programs were stopped or approval for new programs was no given. Only in autumn 2020 and spring 2021 we were able to work in smaller areas and even start school operations on a small scale. With the DELTA variant all programs are on hold again. When and in which way we can start the programs is still unclear. We fully depend on decisions from Federal and Local Government Agencies.
What are our plans for each single program?
Inclusion school: Due to the pandemic, we expanded the school program and applied for a license as an inclusion school. We have already made great progress, but the final regulatory approval is still pending. As soon as the license is granted, we will plan the operation of the school and recruit the staff. We expect to get the license in August/September 2021.
Skill development: For vocational training, we have the necessary licenses from the NSDC and NSIC and the approval for Government funds. As soon as the Government gives green light, we can start at short notice. We expect to kick-off the trainings in August/September 2021.
ChildLine: To get the Child-Emergency License, we still need final visits, further checks and approval from the authorities (ChildLine Foundation India and the local District Magistrate. Due to the Covid restrictions, this cannot take place now. But we hope to be able to start this program this year.
Outreach program: We are continuously active here on a smaller scale. As soon as the situation improves, we can step up the measures again. This applies equally to the Women Empowerment and Disability Welfare Program, which works in cooperation with the local authority.
In the meantime, we have also carried out the last structural work on the border wall of our Keshwa Child Welfare Center. A piece of land has been purchased as a playground for the school. The Government has started to repair the dilapidated road to our Center. So, we are well prepared for running the full program in our Center. Therefore, it was important to keep our permanent staff. We decided to continue to pay their salaries, although it was not always possible for them to work 100%. In addition, we have ongoing expenses for the building infrastructure.
We still must be patient and are dependent on the development of the pandemic and the decisions of the federal and state Government. Nevertheless, we are optimistic that we can continue to realize our vision of “GIVE CHILDREN A FUTURE” in our project in India this year.