Feeding the Hungry During the Crisis

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We will continue to highlight the excellent work done by various NGOs, Corporates as well as individuals in reaching out to our fellow countrymen during this extremely challenging time. This report features the big-heartedness and generosity of some of them in providing dry ration kits and hygiene kits to those who need them the most.

Dharavi and the North-eastern Community Receives Essential Kits Distributed by Three Indian Army (Territorial) Officers

Among the areas and communities of Mumbai that are gravely affected by COVID-19 are Dharavi, the North-eastern community, rickshaw drivers and the tribals of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. As the country continues to be in lockdown, three Indian Army (Territorial) officers came forward and pour their heart out to serve these communities with the help of Mumbai Police. Organisers Major Pradeep Arya, IRS, SC; Captain Neil Shaji, VSM and Major Sanjay Raole provided 4500 ration kits and 4500 hygiene kits to these families with the assistance of Additional Commissioner Central Region, Veeresh Prabhu, IPS.

The activity happened in phases across the communities and reaching out to the individuals in Dharavi was successful because of the Mumbai Police Dharavi Zone and the assistance from Poornata Foundation.

“With the support and assistance of Mumbai Police and thanks to timely delivery of these kits by NASSCOM, we were identifying vulnerable populations in Mumbai wherein members from North East Community, Dharavi, tribals and rickshaw drivers were some of the many who were affected during COVID-19. We undertook this task like a military operation – identifying and assisting them with ration/hygiene kits which will suffice a family of 3-4 can for at least 10-15 days. NGOs like Abhilasha Foundation, Poornata Foundation supported us in distributing these kits.” said Captain Neil Shaji. Additionally, these assorted essential kits will also be distributed again to certain other parts of Dharavi and other communities in the coming days thus covering all grounds.

Sandhya Shetty, actor, model. commonwealth karate gold medalist, speaker, and the advocate of #NoFear campaign, aggressively supported the measures towards transgenders, rescued women, tribals of Sanjay Gandhi National Park and rickshaw drivers. “The mission is to empower women with education, employment, nourishment and freedom. Our aim is to help the vulnerable group and spread happiness and this food and hygiene relief camp is just a small step of support on humanitarian grounds,” said Sandhya Shetty.

“The ration and hygiene kits means a lot to those that have been affected at this time of difficulty due to the lockdown arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, where many have lost their jobs and are living with no more daily supplies. We are grateful to individuals like Captain Neil, Major Pradeep and Major Sanjay who have undertaken such an initiative,” said the North Eastern Community representative, Leo Raikhan.

These kits contain 5 kg of wheat flour, 5 kg of rice, 2 kg of tur dal, 200 gms of turmeric powder, and chilli powder. Along with the ration kit, 3 soaps, 2 washing cloth soap, hand wash and sanitary napkins are also being distributed as part of the hygiene kit. The Indian Army (Territorial) officers received the support of multiple NGOs and of Mumbai Police to distribute and make available these crucial kits for all those in dire need.

GWM India

With the objective to support the marginalised and the needy during the ongoing lockdown period in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, GWM, has taken the onus of providing necessary nourishment and hygiene care through its execution partner CARE India to donate relief kits in Delhi NCR and Pune. The relief kits comprising of essential staples required to provide nourishment such as wheat flour, rice, pulse, sugar along with cooking oil, spices, etc. were distributed to households and families of migrant workers & daily wage labourers in Delhi NCR and Pune. Each ration kit comprised of an adequate supply of groceries to sustain a family of five for a month.

Commenting on the association, James Yang, President, GWM India, said, “At this difficult juncture, GWM feels responsible, to support the less fortunate in every possible manner. Our aim is not to just provide food to the families but a kit that has all the essential elements that are needed for a family of five members to be able to sustain for a month and focus on safe, clean & sanitised environment by including items of daily hygiene in the kit. We would like to show our commitment to society in India by trying to help people in need tide over these difficult times. Our endeavour is to stand firmly united with the government to fight this pandemic. ”

“I am confident that these efforts will help scale up the efforts of all in safeguarding health and nutrition for marginalized populations across India. We stand together with the people of India, for not just this epidemic, but to help the Indian society with such efforts in the future as well,” he added.

For this cause, GWM is attempting to reach to a very large migrant population comprising of daily-wagers, subsistent workers, labours, street dwellers through its NGO Partner, CARE India. GWM’s commitment to this cause is further augmented by the participation of top management of GWM India team – James Yang, President and Parker Shi, Managing Director and Hardeep Singh Brar, Director – Sales & Marketing in personally distributing the kits.

GWM as a responsible entity planned to lay down a blueprint, a clear charted out activity plan with CARE India, to feed the migrant workers in this difficult situation. GWM also distributed items of personal hygiene, encouraging maintaining hygiene as a necessary step against the deadly pandemic. GWM, through this initiative, has made a sincere endeavour to provide both support and emotional strength to a large population of migrant workers.

Shanti Foundation

“Each one of us can make a change. Together we can make a difference.” Togetherness is the need of the hour! Reckoning the current situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the vulnerable community, small farmers and daily wage workers are suffering the most as their livelihood and hunger have reached an unpredictable situation with no certainty.

To extend its support in these difficult times, Shanti Foundation has taken an initiative by providing a bag full of essentials food including wheat, rice, dal, cooking oil, sugar and basic spices, to support the families in need. Each bag contains around 15 kg of essentials food. Currently, Shanti Foundation is operating in rural Delhi, Rajasthan, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Punjab and a few other states to lend a helping hand. While doing so, Shanti Foundation is also making sure to go eco-friendly as the essentials are being packed in a specially made long-lasting, re-usual bag.

The first launch of bags distribution took place in Pune on May 31, 2020, and another 100 bags anticipated in next 3-4 days. Similarly, the distribution process will be followed in other States, each schedule for distribution will be announced as we go along. Each location, efforts are made to involve local authorities and or police to ensure safe and orderly distribution.

Throwing some more light about the initiative,  Surinder Rametra, Founder of Shanti Foundation says, “Shanti Foundation has always tried its best to come forward and help the needy. We take it as our responsibility and will always lend our support to the best of our capabilities. By providing food bags, we are simply trying to ease off a tiny fraction of the sufferings being faced by the underprivileged section of our society. We just hope that our initiative makes a difference!”

Shanti Foundation is a trust registered in India under the Charitable Act 1860 (Trust, Foundation), having Mission of Women Empowerment; Helping Destitute; Awareness of Healthcare and Environment Causes and Promoting Education in Rural India. The Trust, based on the values and principles for which Smt. Shanti Devi stood throughout her life, is a strong believer of ‘Innovative Benevolence’ – a powerful model that exists in the form of institutions that go beyond the lifetime of its founders and continue to impact future generations. It is an approach that allows sustained institutionalized philanthropy, high impact and socio-economic transformation.

It will be implementing various prototypes with the intent to build scalable and sustainable models. At the same time, the Trust shall continue to expand the areas of impact with the collaboration with CSR in the corporate sector, NGOs, funding enterprises and other like-minded contributors. The Trust is guided by several eminent educationists, industrialist, and philanthropist group having a common goal to enhance its mission.

Hamdard National Foundation

Hamdard National Foundation- HNF (India) has undertaken initiatives aimed to feed the underprivileged section of the society that has been the most affected in the current circumstances. HNF under its initiative of ‘Ration Distribution Drive’ undertook food relief measures for migrant workers and daily wage labourers across the National Capital Region, as their livelihoods came to a halt and they ran out of food.

Hamdard National Foundation (India), a Society formed in 1964, in New Delhi, extended its food distribution drive through identified NGOs and individuals who have been working day and night on the ground trying to ensure that no one dies of hunger in the national capital. In the Phase-II of the ration distribution drive, we have given more than 7000 kilograms of dry ration to Moemin Foundation, around 5305 kilograms ration to Rehab India Foundation and a similar quantity to Society for Social Welfare and Development for direct distribution to the poor and needy individuals, simultaneously 14,100 kilograms ration to the office of Imran Hussain, Honourable Minister of Food and Civil Supplies, Govt. of NCT of Delhi. The organization donated more than 20 Food Ration kits to the DM (South East) Delhi, for direct distribution to the families from where they were receiving distress calls, in addition to the 300 kits already provided in Phase – I of the activity.

Hamdard stays true to its passion & commitment of healthcare with the welfare of the society. An exemplary and unique business model, Hamdard ploughs back a significant chunk of its profits into charity. With this Dry Ration Distribution drive, Hamdard National Foundation (India) wants to convey that in this tough time, we will all come through this together.

Hammad Ahmed, President, Hamdard National Foundation (India) said, “At Hamdard National Foundation, we have decided to extend our food distribution activity for the 2nd Phase. With the culmination of both phases of food distribution, HNF has now provided food to 18,800 people for a period of 20 days.”

CP Group 

In these unprecedented times, The Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group): Thailand’s largest private company and one of the world’s largest conglomerates supported migrant families during COVID-19 crisis by providing them free meals. This activity took place in Delhi and Gurgaon in collaboration with Sunaayy Foundation which is a non-profit organisation providing free education to underprivileged children.

CP Group of companies pledged and distributed 15,000 free meals of CP Easy Snacks that is their range of ready-to-cook food items to 450 migrant families. The activity culminated by the two subsidiaries of the group: CP Avant Pvt. Ltd. and CP Foods.

Kasinn Khaowprasert, Director, CP Avant Pvt. Ltd. expressed, “Amid the seemingly incessant wave of the pandemic, the difficult time has also brought out the generosity of individuals and businesses across the world, contributing what they can for helping those in need. We, at CP Avant and CP Foods, feel fortunate to partner with Sunaayy Foundation and be able to make a difference during these hard times. CP Group of companies has always believed in the philosophy of serving and fulfilling the needs of our community.

Keeping in mind the FHRAI guidelines, the food is packed, stored, and distributed with proper sanitizations. Due to the current situation, the team of CP Avant is making sure to check the temperature of the staff working for the cause on a daily base and making sure the team is using masks and gloves while preparing and distributing the food products and practising social distancing as well.

Legrand India

Legrand India, a global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructure has initiated supporting the migrant labourers by providing Dry Ration Kits through Magicbus Foundation and local authorities in Chennai, Maharashtra, Haridwar, Jhajjar and Jalgaon. They have also been providing COVID-19 awareness of social distancing and sanitisation to migrant workers through the Magic Bus Foundation.

Legrand has been conducting various activities across the nation to support several communities in the battle against COVID-19. To fight against the pandemic, Legrand India has provided Dry Ration Kit to 3550+ workers for 14 days through MagicBus Foundation in Chennai and Maharashtra and State Government Authorities in Haridwar, Jhajjar and Jalgaon and COVID-19 awareness of social distancing and sanitisation to 1550 migrant workers through Magic Bus Foundation in Chennai and Bhiwandi.

One of the key focus areas of Legrand India is healthcare when it comes to giving back to society. Legrand is also supporting daily wage workers welfare and migrant labourers by creating awareness in them on social distancing and sanitisation for prevention of COVID-19. The team has enabled support through its electrical products such as protection devices, wiring devices and UPS for hospitals and healthcare facilities countrywide.

With Healthcare as focus, the company is providing PPE to doctors and medical staff in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Delhi and Kerala to support the frontline workers in their fight against COVID-19.

Speaking on the Covid-19 support, Tony Berland, Managing Director and CEO, Group Legrand India said, “I feel proud to be a part of an organization where PEOPLE and COMMUNITY are the key focus area. As a socially responsible organisation, we at Legrand have always put health and safety at the forefront, be it for our employees or society at large. We saw the evolving demand for the basic necessity of the migrant labourers and daily wage worker welfare. We are working with the State Government across the country to bridge the disparity and deliver the need-of-hour to the maximum possible extent.”

Burger Singh

Burger Singh, the most loved homegrown chain of Indianised burgers, recently partnered with Municipal Corporation to help migrants and unprivileged people amidst the current COVID-19 crisis. The brand is relentlessly working with the government authorities to feed the needful and provide them with travel facilities to get them back to their homes.

The Company is closely working with Municipal Corporation by raising and providing funds to them. Burger Singh also enables their customers to buy a meal for the unprivileged at Rs 100 for 4 people and to buy bus tickets at Rs 950.

Speaking on the announcement, Kabir Jeet Singh, CEO and Founder of Burger Singh said: “We are deeply shaken as a society by the ongoing pandemic, and migrants are among the ones most severely impacted. This is our small contribution to their welfare and we urge everyone to display empathy and do whatever they can to help.”

The Company has distributed 4000+ food packets and has done travel arrangements for over a thousand migrants.

Sanchit Mehta, Head of Business Finance, who is spearheading the effort on behalf of Burger Singh said: “We have started a campaign page on https://pages.razorpay.com/BurgerSingh where Burger Singh customers can make a purchase for a ticket or a meal. They get billed like any eCommerce site. The taxes go to the government and the ticket/meal goes to labourers returning home, instead of the buyer.

The Gurgaon administration brings in the buses and we try and sponsor the meal and the fuel. This is the biggest humanitarian crises of my generation and it is up to us to lend all our support to the government and the people of India, he further added.

K Hospitality Corp

K Hospitality Corp, one of India’s largest homegrown hospitality and food-service companies, mobilised a focused volunteer team, under its Karuna Seva initiative to serve over 1.35 million meals to front-line workers, migrant labourers, the homeless, and others in need, during the coronavirus (COVID) lockdown. Starting at about 6000 meals a day, the facility has been scaled to provide 40000+ daily meals in a few days.

Through the K Corp Charitable Foundation, founded by hospitality veteran Mr Sunil Kapur, they put together a team from group companies including Travel Food Services(TFS), Blue Sea Catering and Banquets, and LifeCo, and were able to start off multiple kitchens across Mumbai in a short span.

Joining hands with NGOs such as Yuva, Project Mumbai, Mumbai Mobile Creches, the Rotary Club to name a few, as well as Bangalore Airport, and within 36 hours of the lockdown in March 2020, they were serving meals to frontline workers and homeless.

The Karuna Seva initiative, led by a team of brave volunteers, who put other people first, and served nutritious, hygienic food to those in need, has only been possible with the immense support received from the community, the government, and other well-wishers.

The National of Association of Blind, with whom the company is associated with a long time in charitable work has also been an integral partner by supporting the company with infrastructure and other requirements throughout the lockdown period.

The meals are being distributed across the city with the help of government agencies such as the BMC, BEST, as well as the NGOs working tirelessly on the ground. Some of the areas that have reached out to with the help of NGOs include homeless pockets in Kurla, Sion, Dadar, Matunga, Jogeshwari and slums resettlement colonies in Mankhurd, Bandra, Malad, Nalasopara, Navi Mumbai, etc and migrant workers in different parts of the city.

Sunil Kapur, Chairman, said, “Our guiding principles of Ownership, Transparency & Trust and People First have also defined the way we work. In connection to the Karuna Seva initiative, we hope our efforts in this difficult time help further our foundation’s work of food and nutrition for all. We would like to thank the community, the government, and all the NGOs working tirelessly, for their unquestioned support, without which this would have not been possible. This is a time where we all probe deeper into what we can do for our country, and ensure we emerge stronger out of this crisis.”

“We are especially proud of our frontline workers who are moving ahead despite the challenges faced during the lockdown; making sacrifices and pressing forward with determination. You motivate us and our team to make our ways to our kitchens every day, to make sure those in need don’t remain hungry.”

ThinkSharp Foundation

Today, the migratory worker’s community in India find themselves in an extremely tragic circumstance as the country remains in lockdown. While India fights to curb the spread of the virus, the migrant workers who have returned to their families with limited resources or no cash and other essentials. The future of the daily wage workers community, which relies completely on their per day work, is at great risk.

With people staying home, markets shutting down, and transportation at a standstill the lockdown has hit daily wage workers the toughest. To help this most vulnerable community of India, ThinkSharp Foundation steps in and initiated COVID-19 Relief Fund along with Milaap Crowdfunding, Southeast Asia’s largest online crowdfunding platform, for migratory workers who are still struggling even after reaching their native villages. In just one month, the Foundation has helped approximately 250 family members from different villages of Beed, Latur, Washim, and Jalgaon districts in Maharashtra.

Speaking on the impact of a pandemic on the livelihood of over 40 million migrants across India, Santosh Phad, Founder ThinkSharp Foundation said “During this pandemic, we marginal people are lucky to sit at home and make new dishes every day, learn new skills but this is not the same case with maximum people especially daily wage workers, micro-entrepreneurs, small farmers from rural and tribal areas. They are waiting for their one meal for the day.  We at ThinkSharp Foundation are doing our bit towards the society by helping these communities at this critical time. It is our duty to come together for the Covid-19 pandemic impacted families. It’s time to give back to society.”

The Foundation is resolute to raise at least Rs. Five Lakh donations for COVID-19-impacted families from rural areas in 60 days. Till date, the NGO has been successful in raising one and a half lakh donation. It is also appealing for people to donate and help the distressed community because for migrant labourers as coronavirus is not an immediate threat, but starvation is.