Thu, 14 May 2020
It is those who have the least that suffer the most during times as distressing as these. The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted most if not all of Bahrain’s inhabitants, but none more so than the low-income workers that are spread across the island. The pandemic means that the workers are unable to work and travel, leaving them to fend for themselves in a time where the economy is crumbling and loved ones matter most. During times of hardship, it takes more than an individual to make a difference, which is why the Indian Community Relief Fund (ICRF) has taken initiative in supporting the needs of workers during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The ICRF is a non-profit organisation working towards the welfare of Indian labourers in Bahrain. Adv V K Thomas, the organisation’s convener, described the predicament as a “sensitive issue,” citing the workers’ inability to work or travel as the two major ways they’ve been impacted as a result of the pandemic. While travelling has become a global matter as opposed to a local one, the ICRF have taken steps to ensure the workers remain protected and informed during their time in quarantine.
Among these steps are the supply of dry ration food, support on mental well being, the creation of awareness among the community to protect themselves from Covid-19, and the distribution of reusable face masks. While the ICRF are heavily involved in the distribution of goods among the community, as exemplified by the support kits and 10,000 facemasks they intend to dispense, they emphasize the education of the workers more than anything. Recently, ICRF received 300 food support kits for bachelors and 200 family food support kits from Al Thawfeeq Group.
“We would like to sincerely thank the Managing Director of Al Thawfeeq Group, Mr. Padmanabhan for his support,”said Mr. Thomas.
The chairman of ICRF, Aruldas Thomas, has called for awareness videos in various Indian languages to be prepared and circulated throughout all possible social media platforms. This subsequently allows workers to be informed in preventing or spreading any potential virus.
The mental repercussions suffered from the Covid-19 Pandemic are often overlooked, with the bulk of the focus being on safeguarding against infection. Among these repercussions is a feeling of loneliness, which stems from the fact that several workers have families in India who they are unable to be with as a result of travel restrictions. ICRF have sought to amend this by regularly publishing mental well being flyers on local media platforms apart from extensive social media promotion. The flyers feature a number which workers can call in times of anxiety, allowing members of the ICRF to easily be reached should they need to give any counselling.
As I mentioned previously, it takes more than an individual to make a difference. While the efforts of the ICRF have been monumental in making the said difference, the onus is on the citizens of Bahrain to step in. Donations can be made to the ICRF in the form of cash or in kind, with food kits containing specific items in bulk such as rice and whole wheat being accepted. To make a donation, kindly call 39442560.
We’re all going through this pandemic together, so let’s get help to the ones who need it the most.
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