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Life in poverty – a daily risk

When you live below the poverty line like more than 400 million Indians and your daily worry is whether the next day will provide enough income to feed your family, you cannot afford an insurance for health, accidents and old-age. A well-functioning national social security system does not exist. It is a huge organizational challenge to register each and every person as people do not even have a birth certificate.

 

A stroke of bad luck can put these families into a hopeless situation.  Be it a costly operation, sudden unemployment, the death of one’s partner, a crop failure due to drought or a natural disaster (like the flood in 2010). Poor people fall into debt because they will only get loans at exorbitant interest rates since they have no collateral. Therefore they  find themselves in increasing hardship because they get into a cycle of increasing debt as they cannot pay off the high interest on their loans.

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Fast and unbureaucratic assistance

In such cases, only quick and non-bureaucratic support is of help to them. Often it is sufficient to give someone a certain sum to overcome an acute crisis, e.g. to enable a surgery or the purchase of seeds for the next season. The staff of our partner organisation, the BSK Welfare Society, know people’s concerns very well and also know how to support them specifically so that they can stand on their own feet again.

Sewing machines for widows

To improve the situation of particularly vulnerable families in the long run, we also provide assistance by donating concrete items: Sewing machines are regularly distributed to needy widows, who are then in the position to cover or improve their living costs. Such a machine costs the equivalent of just € 40.

Tricycled wheelchairs for disabled persons

Handicapped and crippled people often live in deplorable conditions in India. They move on the floor with the help of their hands and are completely dependent on the support of their relatives. We provide them with special wheelchairs (tricycled wheelchairs) free of charge, allowing them to lead a more dignified life at last. Their gratitude touches us deeply as they are finally able to help their families. This type of special wheelchair has a hand crank to drive and costs about 76.