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Woman vows to “grow through” COVID-19 crisis

POSTED June 11, 2020

Woman vows to “grow through” COVID-19 crisis

Learn how our program teams are working to help the most vulnerable during this challenging time

By P. Stephen, program leader of IRCDS, a local partner

Woman stands with two children

Jothi is just 25, but the widow and mother-of-two, aged 7 and 4, is now the breadwinner at home where she cares for her in-laws in their low-caste (or class) community in India.  

Before the COVID-19 lockdown, Jothi was enrolled in a government employment program where seasonal agricultural workers are given 100 days of work cleaning land and lakes for minimum wage. This made it possible for her to feed her children and her in-laws, even after her husband passed away. It helped that Jothi’s children received lunch at school and the local early childhood centre.

Everything changed with the lockdown. The government program was put on hold and schools closed. “I don’t have a clue how am I going to shoulder the entire family burden and educate my children,” she confided when we met.

The good news is one of Jothi’s children is enrolled in our sponsorship program, and we recognized the family’s needs. We provided dry rations for a month and a small amount of cash for emergencies.

Our local program staff, who are trained in offering psycho-social support, are helping with the family’s mental health. We’re also investigating how to access widow pension and free housing from the government for the young family.

Jothi has grown steadfast and confident in her goals: “I have made up my mind to wrestle this life by not just going through the phase but growing through it,” she said.

To learn more about how you can help families like Jothi’s, visit

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