Rahul Sharma, and IIT Bombay Alumni along with Anshuman Amresh, a civil rights lawyer, came together with their foundation Pranyas Development Foundation to help people in need.
The Covid19 pandemic has now put the entire country in lockdown for more than two months and has affected many people. From people getting sacked from jobs overnight to front line workers being a target of hate and fear, And with the tumbling economy, very few have fiscal stability to continue living comfortably. If it is tough for the middle class to sustain, it is next to impossible for the migrants to survive.
The migrant workers lost their livelihood as the industries shut down. They have been walking 100s of kilometers to reach home. With not a penny in their pocket, these migrant workers have no option but to rely on the government and other volunteer groups for food.
Offering a helping hand
One such group, Pranyas Development Foundation, has been on the road and helping people even before the lockdown was initiated. An initiative by two childhood friends, Rahul Sharma, an IIT Bombay Alumni, and Anshuman Amaresh, a civil right lawyer. They have been keeping an eye on the pandemic before the central government took it seriously. With the help of a bunch of young volunteers, Pranyas Development Foundation sat on their information and resources on international affairs and the COVID-19 pandemic. This led them to sort and plan the campaign even before the COVID-19 attacked India.
During the initial days of the pandemic, Rahul had conducted research, and that helped him realize the problem migrant workers are going to face soon. And to help them survive the lockdown, they have been conducting drives to feed migrant workers in various locations. To date, they have distributed 22,000+ food packets in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, along with Delhi.
Not only are the workers thankful to these young volunteers, but they also eagerly await their arrival. “Now when our team with food enters the area after days of circling, people’s ears are so trained that even from a distance they can hear the usual sound of our SUV. And start forming the queue even when our SUV is not anywhere near their eyesight. We are doing everything and our best possible to keep this hope of people alive,” says Anshuman.
They have built temporary kitchens at various state wise location. And the cooked food is then distributed among the needy, following the protocols.
Fear among Volunteers
But when times are this scary, it’s not easy for volunteers to go out and feed people, when they are already worried about catching the virus. Rahul works hard to keep his volunteers motivated. Rahul says, “We precisely had to share inspirational videos to our volunteers to keep them motivated, so that fear of coronavirus affecting them remains out of the mental circuit.”
Apart from distributing food, they are also supplying masks and sanitizers.