Nepal's government has extended the current nationwide lockdown another two weeks to stop the coronavirus from spreading out of control. This extension will expire June 2, marking a total of 71 days' restriction. Nepal looks to India as its barometer for continued quarantine: India's deaths tripled in two weeks to 2,659 (5/15). The country’s once busy market places are closed, almost all shops are shuttered, borders are closed, and people are requested to stay in their homes except to buy essentials.
After the outbreak of coronavirus in China, the consumption of masks in Nepali markets has increased in a tremendous way, leading to a shortage. Due to a shortage of masks in remote areas, Kusumita along with her friends received an order to produce 2500 masks in their district. They worked together to complete the order and delivered them to the local area government office. Now they are waiting to receive payment.
Due to the lockdown, Kusumita's shop in a rented house is closed, as are all those around her. She is beginning to struggle financially, and she needs to take care of her three children. Rice and lentils are available, but the price is too high in that area. The cost of rice has quadrupled to NRS 2000 (USD $20 for 10 lbs). Pray that Surendra will soon find a way to deliver the money raised to help Kusumita and the other women.
Abhijita is also facing the same problem. She is spending more time in the jungle to search for firewood, as well as some green leafy things. We as a family are trying to help them as much as possible. It was a great opportunity to support Abhi (who lives near the safe house) during this time. Thank you so much RHN family for your love, care, and thoughtful help by raising the money to help our sisters during this time. We are trying to send money to those sisters who are away from Kathmandu.
Pradipti got a phone call from our girls' college and school; if this lockdown extends more, they will start online classes. Currently the safe house has seven girls attending school, with just two working laptops. Since receiving that call, the lockdown is being extended again, and is predicted to continue for a while as the numbers of infected people grow in India day by day. Pray that the safe house will be able to purchase the needed computers amidst the current restrictions.
Because of the lockdown the price of all goods has been raised up high, and those who have limited income from our staff are also struggling to keep up with this situation. Right now, all the expenses for the part-time staff are being covered.