Kirpal Sagar in April 2020

The corona crisis reached India somewhat later than in other countries, and the government is trying to stop the spread of the virus with a radical curfew. This has created a whole chain of repercussions, affecting not only the migrant workers in the cities, about whom the western media has reported a lot, but also the poor rural population in the area around Kirpal Sagar.

Simple day labourers are no longer allowed to leave their hut settlements and have consequently lost their work in the factories and in the fields, as everything is at a standstill. They currently have neither income nor sufficient food.

So Kirpal Sagar has been organizing support by distributing vegetables, basic food and other requirements for daily needs.  A special permit was issued to enable us to drive to the scattered villages despite the curfew, and a telephone number was distributed so that the families could contact us in case of further shortages.

The situation remains uncertain. The Punjab government is attempting, for example, to reopen local wholesale markets under certain conditions so that the overall food supply does not collapse, but it is difficult to maintain proper hygiene measures.

Kirpal Sagar is able to supply its inhabitants through its agriculture and dairy farming, but also had to adjust to the unfamiliar situation. Schools all over the country are closed at the moment and including Kirpal Sagar Academy and KH Public School. In the meantime, tele-teaching has been established in Kirpal Sagar Academy.

In organic farming, the trade restrictions meant that it was not possible to purchase grids for the planned ranch tunnels. They were replaced by wire and plastic cords stretched by hand in a common effort. There, bitter melons can now climb up and plants that need more shade can grow underneath.

Nevertheless, Kirpal Sagar is like an oasis during this time, with flowers blooming everywhere, the many trees providing shade in the heat and the Sarovar spreading coolness and peace.