Without donor contribution this lockdown, orphanages, old age homes face fund crunch

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to various sectors, including various orphanages and old age homes in Chennai. With donors and philanthropists not being able to visit these institutions for the last two months, these places have been under severe financial strain.
Without donor contribution this lockdown, orphanages, old age homes face fund crunch

Chennai

Managements of several orphanages and homes claimed that they were unable to provide three meals to the children and the elderly people as they didn’t have enough funds to even pay the rent and various bills.
“Since last year’s lockdown, we have been struggling financially, but these two months have been worse. We have been trying to contact donors but in vain. As a majority of people haven’t been able to support us financially as many have suffered a loss of income due to poor business and lost jobs too, we are trying to manage from our meagre savings. We are trying not to let the kids stay hungry and also taking safety measures,” said Naveen K, owner, All The Children orphanage in Vyasarpadi. Several NGOs and citizen groups, however, are coming forward to lend a helping hand and a few institutions are receiving free food but paying bills remain a concern.
“Many volunteer groups distributed food packets during the lockdown and this ensured that the kids didn’t starve. But they don’t have proper clothes to wear as donor contributions have fallen drastically,” said K Mahalakshmi of the Anaikum Karangal orphanage in Nanganallur. Old age homes are facing a similar situation where food has been relatively easier to arrange but medicines and other supplements have been hard to come by. Geetha B, who runs the Sai Old Age Home at Kundrathur said that they are worried about senior citizens developing health issues without proper nutrition. “We are scared to let in donors over safety concerns,” she said.
Revathy L, District Social Welfare Officer, TN Social Welfare Department, said, “The State has continued to provide funds for government-aided orphanages and old age homes in this lockdown. However, there are a lot of non-aided orphanages and old age homes. If they want financial support, they should send a proposal and after approval, they will be given funds every year.

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