‘Change With One Meal’ Is Feeding Morethan 2,000+ People Every Day In Noida During The Lockdown

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The Covid 19 pandemic has taken more from us than one can imagine. It has left bare the weakest members of our society, making them prone to hunger/exploitation than the virus itself. The lockdown revealed some of the worst scenarios that our fellow countrymen are facing. However, it also uncovered some of the most compassionate ways in which other fellow countrymen are working tirelessly to help the former.

Change With One Meal is one such community campaign that has been feeding thousands of migrant labourers in Noida and the ones in need since the lockdown began. Run by Kiran Verma, the campaign runs under Change With One foundation, aiming to reach out to the most vulnerable citizens and provide them with resources.

How it all started?

Kiran Verma tells Efforts for Good that the inspiration for the campaign started with his small initiative to provide rations for his own domestic help. Having come to the realization that the supplies in his helper’s house were receding, Kiran helped his domestic help. However, the neighbours of the helper flocked around Kiran thinking that he had rations to distribute. “I was surprised to see that so many people did not have resources for even a single meal. I came across women and children who had not eaten for three days straight. The hope in their eyes was inspiration enough for me to start Change With One Meal,” Kiran adds.

Change with one foundation

Kiran, who runs the organization Change For One and has been monumental in establishing, Simply Blood, the country’s first virtual blood donation application and website, started the campaign with a few of his friends and the initiative caught momentum.

Started by feeding around 100 people in the community of his domestic help, the story caught wind and the number of people grew. The initiative started on March 23 and for the next three days, Kiran used his own resources to feed the needy. A friend of Kiran, working in the food industry, arranged for a kitchen and the campaign turned into a full-fledged initiative working day in and out to provide meals.

The work and the journey

“Needy people increased everyday and the funds were reducing, hence we worked towards starting a crowd-sourcing approach and were successful in raising money to keep the work of Change With One Meal going forward,” Kiran added. With some resources in hand, Change For One Meal started serving more people and at present they feed around 2000 people everyday in Noida. Food is distributed at four different centres in the city namely Sector 37 (Harijan Basti), Sector 44, sector 72 (Sarfabad) and Greater Noida.

Change with one foundation

The meal provided includes a combination of two nutritious food items. The menu is revised on a continuous basis to look out for the calorie requirement of all. Someday it is rajma-rice, choole rice, chapati-curry, rice-dal or something else, the organization leaves no stones unturned to make sure three meals a day reaches the vulnerable.

“Effective budgeting has helped us provide for more. Initially our costs were around Rs 30 per meal, it has now come down to Rs 10 – Rs 12 per meal, owing to the centralized kitchen. The logistical requirements were not very difficult to put in place owing to the hard work and commitment of the team and the volunteers,” Kiran states.

Around 40 volunteers strive every day to distribute food and rations to the public.

“All safety protocols are compulsorily followed by each one of us. Our centralized kitchen, our centres and our utensils – all of them are sanitized and cleaned regularly. The safety of our team is of paramount importance not just to us for the ones in need too,” he affirms.

One of the volunteers Sumit Rajput narrates that the problem is never bigger than the solution. “Numerous initiatives during lockdown speak more about human compassion than anything else.If all of us crawled to our comfortable homes, who will look after others? When I went to the centres and saw people having literally nothing, I decided that this lockdown should be dedicated to helping and reminding everyone of the need for constant empathy,” Sumit adds.

Other initiatives

Change for One Meal has not only been working to provide meals but has also been delivering hygienic essentials. The organization recently contributed sanitary pads to a girls’ orphanage in the Nizamuddin areas as well sanitary essentials to the red-light area of GB road, Delhi.

  “In our small way, we are trying our best to spread hope – hope that the world still loves, that it still cares and that we are all in this together,” Kiran asserts.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.

Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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