How To Help India And the Skaters Who Call it Home.

Friday, May 14, 2021


Video: Thanks to a German activist and author, skateboarding is slowly changing the children in this Madhya Pradesh village divided by caste.

 As many of you know there is a huge outbreak of COVID happening in India and we've been wondering how Janwar Village and other places (and people we know there) have been doing.

We received this email from our friend Ulrike from Rural Game Changers regarding Janwar Village where there is a skatepark the girls go to along with their schooling. 

 Unfortunately, the info is not great.

But there are ways to help - we are including some links to vetted organizations that are helping NOW to make a difference and save lives. Please think about donating if you can - no amount is too small. 💕

 Links to donate can be found HERE

Dear All,

I keep getting inquiries about how things are going in Janwaar. That's why I'm writing to everyone now.

Yes, Covid has arrived in Janwaar - we now have five confirmed cases, young and old people. All five are either from the higher caste or are village headmen (Sarpanch), so unlike our kids, they have been tested. Anil and Arun were sent back home by both, the police and the clinic staff, untested of course. That's how it is in India. Even in the big cities.

I assume that there are considerably more people positive. In Panna, the next biggest city, 40% of those tested are positive. There is no reason to believe that it is better in Janwaar – because some of the villagers still go to Panna regularly.

Even the "golden rules” of social distancing, wearing masks and washing your hands are only partially followed; we have told our kids to wear two masks. One N95 mask, and one cotton mask above. No other better masks are available. We have bought enough masks, not all people are wearing them; despite constant reminders. Also, the housing situation in the villages is not such that keeping distance is even possible. Often 4-7 people share one room to sleep in.

The situation in the government hospital is similar to the pictures we see every day from Delhi: overcrowded rooms, no oxygen (we donated 10 cylinders 10 days ago; the good news is, they have arrived at the hospital; the bad news is, they are already used up!), very few staff, hardly any medicines and even fewer essential medical equipment. A unique tragedy. People are not dying from Covid, but from the lack of infrastructure at all levels.

This coupled with the ignorance and lack of knowledge of the people - it is really very difficult to imagine a way out at the moment. It has to be lived through. We can only watch who will make it to the other side and hope that there are as many as possible.

Despite everything, the villagers are not getting vaccinated! So far about 20 people have been vaccinated, we could not convince more. They believe the Covid vaccination is a government strategy to kill the poorest of the poor in India. The government has now even linked the distribution of subsidized food to vaccination, yet, people are not getting vaccinated. They prefer to go without the food. But it must also be said that for the past one week, there has been NO vaccination in Panna, because there is no vaccine available. So here the government is once again punishing its people twice!

Thanks to friends in Delhi, we have two consultation hotlines of doctors who are available to advise the villagers in case of need – but the villagers have to accept it. Only three consultations have been carried out, which is not much. I assume that this counseling is better than what is available in Panna.

That's how it looks. Grim. 

Unfortunately, I cannot paint a better picture - trust me, I would love to.

We’ll talk soon - hopefully with better news!

Best, u*

Ulrike Reinhard
The Rural Changemakers gem. e.V.

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