Restoration of families affected by disasters, domestic violence, infanticide and terminal illness.
Aparna an Appeal
Note: We were able to raise the money needed for the surgery and we don’t need funds anymore.
Arpana is a woman of courage and resilience. She was rescued from bonded labour in 2004. She was free from slavery but her ex-husband who deserted her and left her with HIV. We have personally known her since 2004. Her parents and her neighbours have truly embraced her and supported her through the many times she almost succumbed to AIDS. And she has come through stronger. She always strived to sustain herself, set up a petty shop or sold dried fish, she is someone who did not want to burden others.
Aparna is now 35 years old, a few months ago she was diagnosed with a tumour in her abdomen. The doctor advised her to get it operated but due to lack of funds, she has not gone through it. She has been on medication for a temporary relief. Her condition has worsened and the tumour is causing severe bleeding and has caused many complications in her uterus.
Many hospitals denied operating on her because of the risks involved due to her HIV status. One doctor has advised the tumour be operated and removed immediately and was willing to do the surgery. The current quote for the surgery is Rs.72,000 (Seventy-two thousand) since all surgical instruments that the surgeon used to operate on her has to be disposed. Justice and Hope is raising support for her surgery. Every single rupee will go directly towards her surgery.
Our friends at Solai Street were greatly affected by the cyclone Vardah, which tore through the city of Chennai in December 2016, destroying their tents in the process. The staff of JnH visited the community, spoke to the people, and conducted damage assessment of the place to find out how many new tents were required and how many could be mended. The staff then bought new tarpaulin sheets and distributed it to those whose tents were completely destroyed so that they could find shelter.
Incessant rains on December 1, 2 & 3 of 2015 recorded unprecedented rainfall in a century and the city was submerged. Scores of families were desperate to receive anything they could after losing all of their life’s savings.
Justice and Hope being a small Trust collaborated with other organizations and volunteers. We responded to the news and reached out to the pockets where people were stranded and waiting for help. The team provided medical care, mats, bedsheets, blankets, food packets, drinking water, biscuits and milk powder, plastic sheets for covering their homes, cleaning kits, mosquito repellents and nets etc.
J&H put out an open invitation on Social Media – Facebook for families who were unable to contact their loved ones and volunteers went to provide for them, check on them and rescue them to safer areas.
J&H found people who took shelters in halls and under structures that could house them during the night. Volunteers provided food, milk, mats and medicines. After the rains stopped, the teams went and provided mats, blankets, bedsheets, mosquito nets, mosquito repellents, vessels for cooking, clothes etc.
Adopting a Community
In response to the flood that affected Chennai in December 2015, J&H has adopted one community which had been severely affected and has been helping in the restorative process.
The people of this community are the urban homeless and live in tents which were completely washed away during the floods. Each family in the community was given a bag with basic necessities like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, towel, bedsheet, mat, water bottle, biscuits, noodles, Odomos, Savlon, and ORS.
After the initial relief intervention, JnH team gathered the community together and documented each family. Gathering their stories, what their legal status is, current needs of families and the community as a whole.
The community declared with one voice that even though they had lived there for 35 – 40 years, they were being shifted without an order from the government. This would affect their jobs and also the schooling of their children. They were unaware of their rights to the provision of alternate housing facilities and proper formal notice of eviction.
The staff of Justice and Hope visited the responsible government offices and other departments. The officials were cooperative and thus the eviction is postponed to a later period of time during which we will work on getting the people alternate housing facilities.
The staff of JnH met with the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) and the officials from the Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewage Board (CMWSSB) to discuss the status of the eviction and the process of enumeration by the TNSCB.
The staff assisted the officials of TNSCB as they conducted an official enumeration of each family at Solai Street. The officials collected each family’s details and their photos were taken in front of their respective tents.
The staff visited two possible resettlement sites to which the urban homeless community may be shifted and rehabilitated, once eviction takes place. The staff scouted the housing facilities and also livelihood opportunities for the community.
They tracked the modes of transportation and measured the distance from the resettlement sites to the nearest schools, hospitals, market place, police station, fire station, etc.