KOZHIKODE: The orphanages and old- age homes run by non-government organisations in the state are facing severe fund crunch due to a dip in donations, owing to the Covid pandemic. Already, the lives of the children and elderly inmates of these homes have been severely impacted by the pandemic.
Now, many donors who helped the centres earlier have stopped sending donations what with Covid affecting their finances. As a result, the entire functioning of the centres has changed and the activities for the elderly and children has come to a standstill. The state has over 2,000 registered orphanages, mostly run by non-government or charitable organisations.
“Though all orphanages and old-age homes are getting government funds, things are not as smooth as before. We run this centre with public support of people. Now that no visitor is allowed due to social distancing, the donations have also stopped. The funds available now are being used to fulfil basic requirements, mainly food,” said Anoop Gangadharan, managing trustee of Arm of Joy, a Kozhikode-based NGO.
“The donations were effectively used for the well-being of children - providing them education, looking after their health and giving them a standard lifestyle - and to build sufficient infrastructure facilities for them. Now, everything has changed. All the organisations are struggling to make ends meet,” he said.
At present, the government is providing Rs 1,700 per child every month and 7 kg of rice and 3 kg of wheat for each child, he said.
“Earlier, when things were normal, we would get special food from outside almost daily which always came as a blessing for these kids and helped the institutions save money and use the government’s grant for other needs of the kids and elderly,” he said.
“Using the funds earlier, we were able to build a small playground for boys of Free Birds orphanage, which they used during the pandemic. However, there are several institutions across the state that are facing issues and are unable to offer any extracurricular activity or nutritious food to kids now,” Anoop said. Sources said some care homes reduce staff strength to save cost.