At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on the lives and livelihoods of people, Hyderabad-based NGO, The Vedam Foundation is distributing food to the needy, patients, and their caregivers, and medical professionals, across hospitals in Hyderabad.
With successive state-imposed lockdowns rendering the migrant workers and other vulnerable groups in the unorganised sector jobless, poverty has compounded substantially during the second year of the pandemic. To provide these people with food every day, Arvind, the Chairman of the foundation decided to start the initiative. He is a realtor by profession.
Feed The Needy
"After seeing on social media and several news platforms about the sufferings of the poor during the pandemic-induced lockdown across the nation, I decided to serve the people who are in the need of help. (sic.)," Arvind told ANI.
When he started this initiative during the first wave of the pandemic, the foundation mainly supplied groceries to the poor free of cost. However, he later found out that there were many patients/caregivers and people with improper accommodation, who could not be helped with mere grocery supplies. That is when he decided to distribute cooked food to these people, though the grocery distribution continued as before.
And not just the one hospitalised— the foundation, through online orders, delivers food to the home isolating patients too.
Also, out of respect for the medical community, the foundation started providing free food to the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff as well. Every day. The foundation reportedly distributes around 1,000-1,200 free meals to the ones in need, across hospitals.
Additionally, the foundation also provides free oxygen supply and medical assistance to the ones in need.
Funding The Initiative
According to media reports, the foundation receives funds from several corporate firms. Arvind's friends and associates have also come forward to donate money for the noble cause.
The foundation has been able to distribute over 35,000 free meals in the last 28 days, according to Arvind. Speaking about his plans, he said that the foundation is planning to continue this drive till the end of this year.
Increase of Poverty, Hunger Insecurity Worldwide
According to the World Bank, almost 71 million people around the globe will be forced into extreme poverty due to the pandemic. In yet another report by The World Food Programme, approximately 130 million people could fall into the category of "food insecure", in addition to the millions of people who were already added to the category in 2019.
Also read: India Is 14th Most Charitable Country As Per World Giving Index 2021