Since the start of the lockdown due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, there has been one narrative dominant on social media, we are all in this together. Everyone from celebrities to blue-collar and white-collar workers has been pushing this same narrative. There are videos by celebrities urging people to stay at home broadly saying, “If we can do it, so can you.”
Those privileged to be on social media – are exactly that – privileged to have access to luxuries of the internet, working from home or enjoying a vacation because they are not living from hand to mouth. ‘We are in this together,’ could not be farther from the truth.
At one end of the spectrum are people who are struggling to make ends meet for their daily lives. They two choices – if you can call them choices - either walk home or die hungry.
Anubhuti Foundation decided to give them a third option, by supporting them with rations so that they aren’t coerced into choosing between the first two.
The Nivala Campaign
Anubhuti Foundation has launched a campaign named Nivala – Saath Aaye kisi ke ghar me chulha jalaye. Under this campaign, we have been actively providing ration kits to the community around us. The main intention of our work has been to help keep them safe, especially when their only source of income has been put on a hold. Through our initiative, we have identified 1000+ underprivileged families living in urban slum areas in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Mumbai. We believe it is critical for us to work with the most affected of the country such as maids, rickshaw pullers, daily wage workers, drivers, ragpickers and beggars.
Nivala – ''Saath Aaye kisi ke ghar me chulha jalaye."
The members working on this initiative are from different parts of the country and so we’re working to reach several communities. We are also collaborating and working alongside local NGOs based near these communities. Our plan of action is to identify ration shops with the required essentials in the vicinity of the communities. Funds generated by this campaign are spent at these specific shops to procure premade aid kits. The kits containing wheat, rice, daal, and other essentials such as masks and sanitizers.
These are distributed under the vigil of trustworthy community leaders that are identified by our members. They are equipped with safety kits to avoid the spread of the infection. Constant updates will be taken from the field to ensure that the campaign runs smoothly.
Sakshi Srivastava, Founder of Anubhuti feels, “Most of the people who we have supported in this time are people who we have been working with over the last few months. We do not just see them as migrant workers, who are looking for a handout, but we see them as a vital part of our ecosystem and so we did not hesitate before starting this initiative.”
While their immediate community only has a few hundred families, there was a need to go beyond.
“Thanks to the support from partner organizations such as Goonj, Zomato Feeding India, Barefoot Edu Foundation, MEEM Foundation, YUVA and Sahas NGO as well as the district administration, volunteers and others, we have managed to reach out to more than 800 families and 100 individuals who are living in the communities around where we are working. We did not want to limit ourselves to our own community and wanted to help as many people as we could” she added.
During the duration of the campaign – which is still ongoing at the time of writing this article, through the Nivala campaign, Anubhuti has distributed over 5400 kgs of rice, 2700kgs of daal, 900 kgs of Salt, 160 kgs Haldi, 1800 soap bars and 500 sanitary napkins.
About Anubhuti Foundation:
Anubhuti is an organization founded by enthusiastic and visionary Gandhi Fellows, CMGGAs (Chief Minister Good Governance Associates), consultants and legal experts. It aims at strengthening the nation from its very core by ensuring quality education for all who are not included in our mainstream education system. We want every child who is bound to live a nomadic life or under acute economic/social stress to be educated and stand on its own feet.