Life Under Lockdown — On the ‘village frontlines’ in India

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We hope you got a lot out of our discussion last night with Ruchi Yadav and Rachel Akehurst uncovering what life under lockdown in India is like, and how Elected Women are leveraging their years of leadership training with us on the village frontlines.

“We have to be aware of the different layers of the pandemic. It’s a sum of different sub-crises…. I’ve been ignited by this…We’ve said, let’s do something about this.” — Ruchi Yadav, The Hunger Project India. 

For those of you who weren’t able to join us, you can catch up via our recording here [run time 58 minutes].

Our 7 key takeaways from the call:

  • What started as a health crisis has quickly turned into a humanitarian crisis in India: because of the lockdown, many daily wage earners have completely lost their income and with that, their capacity to support themselves and their families. A staggering 140 million migrant workers are travelling from cities back to their rural villages, taking COVID-19 with them.
  • 12 million people in India could be pushed into poverty because of this pandemic – if we don’t act now.
  • The years of training by THP has directly prepared Elected Women to ask themselves ‘what can I do right now?’ (rather than waiting for instruction) and mobilise into immediate action as frontline leaders in this crisis.
  • Elected Women are uniquely placed to respond to specific local needs because they’re already on the ground, they’ve built up trusting relationships over time, and they can identify the most vulnerable people in their communities.
  • Through their established distribution network, they can easily and effectively reach every person in the villages they serve: 8,000 Elected Women together with 3,600 teenage girls have already reached an incredible 500,000 people with accurate health information and resources.
  • THP’s approach has meant we could quickly respond to the greatest need identified by Elected Women, and in an act of partnership we pivoted to extend a lifeline and deliver food parcels to 5,000 families living on the margins.
  • Even in the face of a global pandemic, one of our core principles of Human Dignity has remained at the heart of all our decision-making and actions.

“What did you do when COVID-19 hit? What was your personal legacy?” — Ruchi Yadav, The Hunger Project India. 


On the call, Ruchi Yadav alongside our CEO Melanie Noden invited us all to think about how we can leverage the resources we have available to us to connect with others. While staying in to protect yourself and your family, you can still reach out to keep 16.5 million people safe. If you are in a position to, please reach out and invest in our global ‘Stay In, Reach Out’ campaign.


Thank you to everyone who has given so far.

As you know, we’re already in action on the ground using these funds to rapidly respond to COVID-19.

In the last few days, a number of generous investors have offered to continue matching dollar for dollar your contributions. This means you still have time to DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT! If you haven’t yet, we invite you to take advantage of this extended matching period and give the equivalent of what you would spend on the things you can’t do right now – like having a beer at the pub, an overnight stay up the coast, or your weekly commute.