Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.
Over the past 10 years, Delhi-based Sunaayy Foundation, a non-profit NGO, has been providing education to the underprivileged children. They provide these children, mostly from slum areas, with a safe space that is similar to creches in playschools and prepares them for the mainstream education system.
Children get free books, stationery, school uniforms and a two-time meal – one as breakfast and another as lunch in addition to free education.
However, after the 21-day nationwide lockdown came into effect, Sunaayy, in New Delhi's Vasant Kunj, was forced to suspend their classes, leaving the children bereft of their daily meals.
While the lockdown has brought many lives to a standstill, the worst-hit are the poor daily wage labourers. As their whole livelihood depends on their daily wages, the sudden shut down of industries have left them struggling for their daily meal.
While several relief measures have been announced by both the Centre and state governments, these don't often reach the country's poorest of the poor.
Realizing the loss of work and wages, and the impact of coronavirus outbreak on the livelihood of 2300 migrant workers' families whose 450 children are part of Sunaayy, the organisation decided to deliver essentials at the doorsteps of these workers.
Today, they have distributed around 4,000 kgs of grains, 2000 kgs of potatoes and onions, and 800 soaps to these children and their families.
"Due to the lockdown, we couldn't teach the children anymore. But that doesn't mean they should not get food, because we were providing two meals for them. That would have made a huge impact on the family - to spend money on feeding the children," Richa Prasant, founder of Sunaayy, tells The Logical Indian.
In the initial days, due to the restrictions in going outside, the teachers and volunteers of the organisation contributed their monthly salary to help the children and their families by arranging some food. However, as the parents of these children are either daily wage workers or domestic help, they were forced to stay at home.
As their stock of food grains was running out, Sunaayy stepped in to reach them with food and necessary ingredients, so that they can survive during these testing times.
On April 1, Swami Shantamannandji, of Ramakrishna Mission of New Delhi, came forward to support the children and their families. As a part of the Coronavirus Relief campaign, nearly 400 food packets were distributed to the children and their family members, with the support from different people.
Later, Prasant and her team distributed ration to families of the 450 children enrolled with them. The relief work was supported by members of Young Indians (Yi), a subsidiary of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
Sunaayy works closely with the members of Yi, Delhi, who work voluntarily to raise funds for sourcing and packaging of all the relief material. These are then distributed by Sunaayy.
"We have given them ration that can take care of them for 10 days. 5 kgs of atta, 5 kgs of rice, 2 kg of dal, 2 kg of potato, 2 kg onions, 1 litre oil, 1 kg salt, 2 soaps - this is the kind of supply every family has got," says Prasant.
From wearing masks and gloves to following all norms of social distancing and lockdown caveats, Prasant ensures her team stay safe throughout.
Prasant also lauded the efforts of the Delhi government, which has also started many programmes and established many relief centres to support poor families and daily wage labourers.
From the very first day, the Delhi police (Vasant Kunj South and North, Kishangarh and Mahipalpur) played a significant role in supporting Sunaayy and helped the NGO in smooth distribution of relief materials.
"The police has done a fantastic job. The police were with us all the time and they ensured that law and order was maintained," says Prasant.
"As an Indian, I feel so proud of the way everybody has come forward to deal with this crisis. The spirit of humanity is the most inspiring feeling at this time, that everybody in their own ways is trying to support others," she adds.
Thank you for subscribing.
We have sent you a confirmation email.