Five Organizations Working Tirelessly To Provide Rations To More Than 50,000 Migrants In Hyderabad

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The Covid 19 pandemic has put our lives on hold. The daily work routines have changed, the lifestyle has changed, work ethics has changed but what still remains the same for most of us is that we are able to feed ourselves. Our supplies are enough, our roof is strong and our phones have full range. But for some everything has taken a drastic turn into a narrow lane of exploitation and helplessness. Our vulnerable citizens comprising migrant labours, domestic workers and other marginalized communities are fighting hard for their next meal. Numerous compassionate organizations and individuals have stepped up to provide for our fellow citizens. The city of Hyderabad has however seen a very unique arrangement for helping out the migrants. Five noted organizations have come together to provide rations to the needy. T-Social Impact Group (TSIG), Rythu Swaraj Vedika, Indus Organization, Inqui – Lab Foundation and Akshayapatra are working hand in hand to make sure the vulnerable citizens get food, sanitation products and are able to go home.

Feeding almost 15,000 people on a daily basis, the community of organizations has been taking care of its citizens since the lockdown began. Efforts For Good spoke to some of the volunteers working with the organizations and a part of the ration delivery department. 

When did this start?

TSIG, which works towards social education and rehabilitation of the people, began the operations as soon as the lockdown was announced. With the organization first prioritizing in tracing the needy migrants, numerous on-ground surveys were conducted with the help of the volunteers. Rythu Swaraj Vedika joined the initiative shortly, which predominantly works in the field of ensuring sustaining livelihoods for farmers and subsequent allies.

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Both the organizations took up the task of serving people with food and rations when the marginalised communities approached them asking for food and transportation facilities to go home. “People were starving. They had no food, rations or sanitary essentials and were in dire need of the same. We stepped up for our people as we realized that the fight against the virus needs to be fought together and we need to stand with them in such drastic times and thus the campaign of providing them with essentials was born,” Abhijit Biswas , one of the volunteers states.

Starting from feeding a few hundreds of people in a day during the first week of the lockdown, the organization has now provided rations to more than 50,000 migrants at different spots across Hyderabad. With a centralized kitchen, the group has more than 10 spots where the rations is distributed. Along with serving the people from their own state, most of the communities the organization serves come from the inner corners of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

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How does the logistics work?

Here the volunteers of Akshaypatra, Inqui-Lab and Indus Foundation came forward to help. Akshaypatra is one of the most famous organizations that helps feed the country and they stepped in to provide the rations and other necessities. Inqui – Lab and Indus Foundation have worked extensively in the education sector and came up with providing human resources as well as fund-raising campaigns to help the cause.

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With numerous reports coming out of vulnerable areas demanding rations and other essentials, the volunteers from these organizations started with ground surveillance and data collection to serve the people better. With independent requests being one of the main sources of information, the collaborative issued a helpline number that migrants can use and request for rations. The organizations circulated their helpline numbers across the city and the needy people reached out to them via the same.The data collected via the helpline numbers as well as surveillance gave the organization an idea about the number of rations to be distributed. Funds for the rations have come from individual contributions as well as fundraising campaigns.

What is the process?

“With more than 100 volunteers working everyday, the volunteers of the organization are divided into three different departments – helpline, data collection/processing and delivery. After data is collected and analysed, a verification survey is done and then the volunteers contact the local leaders of the particular region that needs the supplies and with their help – the rations are distributed. This collaborative works with a community effort based model and that is the model that brings effectiveness as per the organizers,” says  Romila Gillella, another volunteer with the group.

“Around 70% of the volunteers are young, bright individuals who are on their when it comes to helping others. Their compassion and courage are inspiring for all of us and is the backbone of our work,” Abhijeet states.

Other initiatives

The organizations are also working towards rehabilitation of the people, running campaigns for fundraisers as well as arrangement for transportation facilities for the daily wage workers. Currently they are working in collaboration with the government, other organizations and individuals to help the vulnerable people reach home.

“Fellow countrymen who have built our homes, work at our homes, clean our streets and do numerous other thankless jobs are in need and should be looked after. They are our economy and family,” Abhijeet adds, his words filled with compassion and zeal.

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It's not how much we give
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- 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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