The old man can barely support himself on his cane. He has no family to carry the heavy bag of rice. He asks the staff to come and see his house where the floor is soaked from the morning rain. With Pawanzi carrying the rice, we set off to the house.
A few pumpkins are growing on the house’s straw roof. As we lower our heads to pass through the low doorway, we see that the dirt floor of the man’s house is indeed soaked. We sit down at his sleeping area, the only space that has been spared from the rain. It is dark inside. A few rays of sunlight come in through the cracks in the roof. The rain must have gotten in through those cracks.
“Sir, don’t you receive aid from the government?”
“Yes, I do.”
“How much do they give you?”
“400 rupees ($5 USD) per month, but not every month. Sometimes, they skip a few months.”
“Oh my… How do you get by, then?”
“With the aid I receive from JTS.”
The old man likely took us to his house so he can receive more aid from JTS.
Today is JTS Poverty Relief Day. Four times a year, JTS India provides rice, beans, and oil to those in need. Because so many people live in such extreme poverty, we consult with the village leaders on who are the most in need — usually widowed women, the disabled, or the elderly who reside alone. Then, we visit the individuals in person in order to gauge the situation ourselves. Although we cannot do everything, we try to provide relief aid for the extremely poor and those most in need of help.
The temperature is now over 30°C (86°F). It is extremely hot. We leave in our rickety old car, contemplating how we can help repair the roofs this year.