The coronavirus pandemic has left the deprived communities in acute distress. As soon as the lockdown was announced lakhs of daily wagers, cab drivers, construction workers, waiters, and others who work in small businesses wished to return to their homes in rural India.
Factories and establishments were shut and construction activities came to a halt. Many of the workers who wished to return to their homes, began their long journeys home on foot after the sudden shutdown brought the nation to a standstill.
Several people were seen walking along the edges of national highways of several states carrying their luggage on their back. Several migrants even died on their way back home.
Due to the lockdown, migrant labourers, daily wage earners, transgenders, the differently-abled, agricultural labourers, sex workers and orphans among others, have been disproportionately affected. With over 40 crore people estimated to be pushed deeper into poverty in hard-hit India, even one square meal is a struggle for most.
The hunger collective is a collaborative movement for supporting people with basic necessitates in this time of crisis. It is collaborating on the ground through multiple volunteers.
"Over the last two months, we have provided over 75,000 people with food, medicines, rations and essentials over the last two months with 10-15 of our volunteers working tirelessly across regions, joining hands with our advisors," Rajashri Sai, co-founder, Hunger Collective and Founder, Impactree, tells The Logical Indian.
The volunteers include Vijaya Devi, Zia Hajeebhoy, Deepa and Milind Soman and Dr. Anil Menon among others, who have supported the organization in scaling their intervention and reaching out this far.
"Our aim is to reach out to over 2 lakh people in 2 weeks through the collaborative efforts of as well as the government," Rajashri says.
The following is Hunger Collective's success in journey so far:
1) Over 20+ volunteers working across India for over two months.
2) Provided food and rations to over 77000+ people across India- Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Faridabad, Satara, Udgir, Maheshwar, Roha, Arrah etc.
3) Helped organise trains from Mumbai to Villipuram for 250 stranded Tamilians, including 60 children below 5 years of age and 10 pregnant women – first of the migrant trains to Tamil Nadu.
4) Provided ration kits to 2300 families in Geeta Nagar and Dharavi, Mumbai, which are COVID-19 hotspots and 1000 families in Lalbaug - Kalachowki, Mumbai.
5) Supplied 1500 sanitary pads to commercial sex workers and poor women.
6) Supplied 500 PPE kits to doctors across Mumbai
7) Collaboration with 10+ not for profits on the ground
8) Collaboration of Department of Civil Defence—Raigad district, Disaster management cell- Maharashtra and Navi Mumbai etc.
"The areas we have covered include Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Faizabad, Arrah, Maheshwar, Roha, Satara, Sangli, Udgir and we are still in the process of expanding our network," says Ashlesha Kshirsagar, co-founder, Impactree and volunteer, Hunger Collective.
"We aim to ensure that no one sleeps in an empty stomach during the COVID-19 pandemic," she adds.