Citizens, NGOs reach out to the needy with food, rations & cash - - Telling the truth- always!
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Citizens, NGOs reach out to the needy with food, rations & cash

NEW DELHI: From Delhi to Bengaluru, Mumbai to Hyderabad, starvation is as much a threat as Covid-19 for daily wagers, many of them migrants. Concerned over their plight, a group of activists, NGOs and citizens are raising funds and distributing cooked food, utility packets, even providing cash, during the lockdown.
In Hyderabad, lawyer-turned-businessman Shaaz Mehmood has raised funds to provide ration for 5,000 such families. The 31-year-old, who runs a restaurant chain, has decided to help out after a Facebook exchange with a friend.
“We knew that the situation would only get worse as the lockdown is not going to end anytime soon. So we hurriedly put out a poster on our social media handles. The response has been overwhelming,” he told TOI.
In just 24 hours, he and his friends, Tanya Reddy and Deepti Kat, raised over Rs 25 lakh. They prepared packets of food and other utility items for the families. Among the donors were tennis player Sania Mirza, actor Abhishek Bachchan and filmmaker Farah Khan.
The trio, in association with SAFA society, then started a campaign on online crowdfunding platform, Ketto, to reach out to 10,000 more families in Hyderabad, North Karnataka, Bangalore and Chennai. They are looking to raise Rs 50 lakh through their initiative, Youth Feed India. They have received donations worth Rs 11 lakh so far.
Several posters appealing for financial aid have flooded social media platforms. Crowdfunding campaigns are offering multiple schemes. In Mumbai, Child Helpline Foundation, is using its volunteers to provide help to daily wagers. In Bengaluru, an NGO, Humane Touch, has become a part of a collective called #MercyMission, which is raising funds for daily wagers, some also migrants.
“We started our planning process on March 22. Currently we are providing foodgrain packets to at least 1,000 families of daily wagers. These kits are made for families of six and will last for 15 days,” said Humane Touch founder secretary Tazayan Oomer.
An arduous homeward journey, lack of awareness and barely enough food have been the plight of many migrants. Humane Touch is also working to provide cooked meals twice to families of these 1,000 migrant workers, who have been forced to live in slums as they could not pay their rents and did not have the option to travel back to their native villages.
“There are migrant workers who have been forced to stay back because of the lockdown. They don’t even have the facilities to cook at home. We have been providing them cooked lunch and dinners,” she added.
Another campaign on crowdfunding site Milaap has raised over Rs 35 lakh for daily wagers. The campaign was started by Venkat Iyer. The website is not charging any fee on any campaign around Coronavirus. “In the time of Chennai floods (2015), when people started fundraisers on Milaap, we realized that the digital space can be a lifeline for support during times of mass crisis: disasters and natural calamities. Removing our platform fee is our way of standing with anyone who volunteers to address a need at a grave time like this,” said Mayukh Choudhury, CEO and co-founder, Milaap.
Volunteers and civil societies in Delhi, too, are in the frontline. An online campaign by Delhi Youth Welfare Association (DYWA) has raised over Rs 15 lakh for daily wagers. “There are thousands of people who have lost their jobs and can’t go back home because there is no transport. We are reaching out to them through our volunteers and local NGOs. Once we verify their identities, our volunteers deliver the ration to local kirana shops and the needy can come and pick it up after providing a valid ID,” said Abu Sufiyan of DYWA.
DYWA is reaching out to these communities by offering monetary help, cooked food and ration packets. It has provided financial support to 80 migrant families. Cooked meals is supplied to about 1,500 families twice daily, while ration support, which would last for 21 days, has been extended to 600 families.

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