Ramkilavan Chaudhary is 45 years old and lives under the Andheri bridge near the railway station of Satna, Madhya Pradesh. He, his wife, and his son live in a tiny shed made from rags and plastic sheets.
Ramkilavan is a person with disability and uses a tricycle donated by an NGO to commute to a nearby temple where he begs all day to feed his family. His son is 19 years old and unemployed with no qualifications or skills.
When the nationwide lockdown was announced in India all temples and other religious centers were shut leaving beggars like Ramkilavan distraught. Ramkilavan and his family barely know anything about COVID-19. All they were concerned about was sourcing food or getting meals. Satna Municipality has been providing support to people like Ramkilavan by providing 1 meal a day. Though a good initiative, these meals were insufficient for the family. When CBM partner organization Samaritan Social Service Society reached this family they were found in terrible conditions, his wife already suffering from undernourishment. Since then SSSS has twice provided them with dry ration which includes rice, wheat flour, lentils, soya chunks and other essentials. Though the family is in a much better condition now, Ramkilavan is still anxious about the future.
He is indeed thankful that the most vulnerable people like himself are not completely forgotten by society. He explains how begging outside the temple made him feel it was God sending him his meals but today it is organizations like SSSS and CBM which are doing that for him.
During this lockdown, when the Indian upper and middle class is worried about their job security, a sinking economy and is missing the pre-lockdown outings and privileges, Ramkilavan misses being able to afford three meals a day.