Mrs Dinyilhiu is a daily wage worker from Chizami Village. She is a 68-year-old widow who ekes out a living by labouring in other people’s farmlands. A native of the village, she got married to a Nepali man and had lived outside for a long time. After her husband died, however, she returned to Chizami where her heart always belonged. This in no way made her life easier as she does not own any family land. She has always depended on the community people’s support and goodwill on somedays and wage work on others. Because of her deteriorating health and age, working has been difficult for her lately. She has no alternative source of income.
She does have a son, but with a five-member family of his own, he can barely contribute anything towards his mother’s upkeep. Moreover, her son is a daily wage labourer as well. With no other source of income or savings, but living on what they earn daily, it was a time of great hardship for Mrs Dinyilhiu. The Lockdown imposed due to the COVID 19 Pandemic has aggravated the depravity as there isn’t much work available for her or her son.
North East Network’s Emergency Response Team in Nagaland has been reaching out to families like these for the past two months now. In Chizami we provided Mrs Dinyilhiu and her family with essential commodities such as face masks and dry ration. The quantity of our support wasn’t much and it was in no way going to last them throughout the crisis, but the relief and gratitude that our response team received was priceless. There are many more families who are silently suffering during this crisis and there is only so much NEN can do. With the Lockdown being in its fourth phase now, there are innumerable families from marginalized communities in rural and urban space with limitations of age and health who are been driven to desperation and have no support system. What with migrant workers from other parts of the country coming home, the situation is only going to worsen.
We need your support, contribution, and empathy if we are to survive this and we need to do it together.