India's move to impose a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 has brought the lives of 1.3 billion people to a halt. While the privileged ones can afford to sit at home, study online, and enjoy good meals, the marginalised sections continue to struggle for basic needs.
In such challenging times, an NGO, 'Yeh Ek Soch Foundation' (YES), is helping the needy amid the crisis
Yeh Ek Soch (YES) Foundation, is a registered non-profit civil society organisation, established in 2012, in accordance with the laws of the state of Uttar Pradesh. The organisation has been relentlessly working towards social inclusion and holistic development of adolescents, youth, and marginalised sections of society.
"We facilitate the agencies by enhancing their knowledge, building capacities over gender, life skill education and social entrepreneurship and ensuring their contribution in sustainable development and also monitoring the systemic change around it," Rachita Srivastava, Coordinator, programs and youth intervention, tells The Logical Indian.
"Since we work on the ground, we are connected with the people and their issues. They come to. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, we stopped all our program activities and asked out cohorts of young people and adolescents in all the communities to keep the work on hold. Their physical safety was our utmost priority, and hence we diverted our focus on handwashing sessions, awareness on fake news and how to actually filter the information regarding the same," says Rachita .
"On March 27, we got a call from one of our fellow youths from the Takrohi community of Lucknow. She told us about the crisis some women are going through due to unavailability of menstrual hygiene products," she added.
YES has been providing the required essentials to these women since then. It has reached out to 663 women and girls and provided them with feminine hygiene products such as sanitary napkins.
Soon they started getting support with people calling and asking for ration and other essentials.
"In Lucknow and Sitapur, we enlisted 900 families who were in immediate need of relief support. By April 30, we provided them with ration and sanitation kits which we believed would suffice for their families for at least a month," says Rachita. "We have provided ration and sanitation kits to 966 families in Lucknow and Sitapur. In case there's an absence of ration at a given point, we approach the Nagar Nigam and with their support, we provide the ration kits," she adds.
YES has also reached out to adolescents and youngsters, and given them support through counselling amid the lockdown. Introducing an online learning platform, entrepreneurs in UP are directly communicating with youngsters, keeping them informed about the current pandemic situation.
"The reactions of the community members on getting the ration is overwhelming. In Lucknow, most of the people are migrants workers and daily wage labourers. In Sitapur, people were engaged in small occupations like tailoring, painting, pottery," Rachita says.
Talking to The Logical Indian, Sushma, a migrant worker from Chattisgarh, says: "I have been living in Lucknow with my family for three years now. When this lockdown started and the food crisis hit, my father decided that we should go back to our state, because, with no source of income, it had become difficult to survive. I was really afraid as I had been hearing news of migrants walking 500 km to reach their homes, so I decided to call my mentor at Yeh Ek Soch Foundation and asked her for help."
"I received a call that the team would be coming to distribute the ration. My father is also proud of me for helping 32 other families living nearby. Being able to help anyone in need is a beautiful feeling, and it also gives me hope that we all can fight this together," Sushma adds.
The Logical Indian appreciates the corona warriors for their selfless service to society.