Shelter homes in Nagaland during pandemic
Dimapur, Aug. 25 (EMN): Challenges continue to exist in the state ever since the Covid-19 pandemic struck last year, as shelter homes and individuals have been affected in numerous ways.
Director of Hope Channel Dimapur, Tiala shared during an interaction with Eastern Mirror that they were facing numerous challenges due to the pandemic and have been working with Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK) and Sakhi-One Stop Centre.
Hope Channel is a non-governmental organisation that provides shelter, counselling and vocational training to destitute women and children.
Tiala said that there were over 150 women under their care and most of them were single mothers.
Due to the lockdown, the women were unable to go to work and hence no other source of income, she informed, adding that they provided them dry ration and medicines by raising funds.
She went on to say that the Assam Rifles also helped them.
‘We all have the potential to reach out to help someone and small things can also make a big difference for many people.’ — K Ela
Tiala’s mother Anenla also shared that they bring women and children, who were in need of assistance, to the home and gave them shelter and counselling. She said that every weekend, they would organise prayer fellowships to bring them closer to God and also to provide them their needs.
She shared that women with marriage problems; sexual, physical and mentally-abused victims; and young girls with family problems mostly come to the home and stay for three to six months. If they recover, they are handed over to their family members.
She said that most of the inmates are teenagers, who are victims of sexual abuse; women with health issues that cannot be treated; and poor women who cannot afford food or rent a house.
She said that during the pandemic, they worked hard and bought rations for the needy women with the money they earned from baking cookies and fundraisers.
K Ela, the director of Prodigals’ Home Dimapur also said that the pandemic was a difficult time for many of them (shelter homes) but ‘there were no extraordinary challenges for them’.
She cited that during emergency situations, they could not admit anyone into their home without Covid-19 testing as they had to maintain their own safety. Sometimes the women and children were admitted during odd hours, and so going for testing was a challenge but “fortunately so far, women and children who are admitted, there has been no positive cases”, she said.
She informed that as many as 62 women and children have been admitted to Prodigals’ Home since the beginning of the pandemic last year. She said that at present, there are 14 children under Child Care Institution and 12 women under Shelter Hope for women.
She said the ‘nature of the home is that the children and women come and go’.
They get admitted and then discharged after their families are traced, especially the children, she said, adding that children are sent back to their families, guardians or relatives’ place once they are traced.
“And those children and women whom we are not able to send, we keep them in the home,” she added.
She also shared that Prodigals’ Home is an inclusive home where they keep children with disabilities who need shelter.
Speaking about the children, Ela said that some students were attending online classes and some go to school to collect notes from their teachers.
“It is a difficult situation for the parents, teachers and students as well but the situation compels,” she said.
She opined that online classes were not ‘children-friendly’.
“The children are also stressed but we are engaging them, organising small programmes and activities. We are trying to reduce their stress in our own way by doing little things,” she said.
“During this situation, everyone is stressed out, including childcare institutions, shelter homes or even with their own families, and so we all need to put in conscious effort to keep ourselves healthy and positive and see in what way we can help ourselves and also help others in whatever way possible.
“We can do something good for each other and give hope for each other during these trying times. We all have the potential to reach out to help someone and small things can also make a big difference for many people,” she added.