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Reacting to India’s Covid crisis

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Emergency supplies have been provided to communities in India after UK co-ops came together in response to the Covid crisis.

Lincolnshire Co-op donated £10,000, and with the support of nine other retail co-ops across the UK, £100,000 was donated in total.

The money was donated via SEWA, the Co-operative Federation in India which works with 106 women’s co-ops, enabling them to provide a sustainable livelihood for female workers.

The funds provided supplies - including masks, paracetamol and oxygen – as well as supporting Indian co-ops to restart their businesses after lockdown.

The funds provided supplies - including masks, paracetamol and oxygen – as well as supporting Indian co-ops to restart their businesses after lockdown.

Crucially they also provided lifesaving information about the symptoms and spread of Covid to families in rural and low income urban areas – to dispel myths and provide accurate health information.

Mirai Chatterjee, Chairperson, SEWA Cooperative Federation said: “Our country is now slowly coming out of the health emergency, but we are now staring in the face of a huge livelihood and humanitarian crisis.

“Workers and families have been busy with the health emergency but now they are extremely anxious about how they can restore their livelihoods and that’s where your contribution and your support to us has been critical.”

The emergency response was co-ordinated by Co-operatives UK and the Co-operative College.

Contributors aside from Lincolnshire Co-op include: The Co-op Group, Midcounties Co-op, Central England Co-op, Scotmid, Southern Co-op, East of England Co-op, Channel Islands Co-op, Chelmsford Star Co-op, Heart of England Co-op and Co-op News.

Rose Marley, CEO of Co-operatives UK said; “This is true co-operation in action, with some of the largest co-ops in the UK collaborating to provide financial support and solidarity to co-ops on the other side of the world. Our global co-operative movement is based on values and principles that are as strong today as they ever were.”

Watch a video from SEWA explaining the impact of the support in India


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