New Delhi: Wishes and Blessings, a New Delhi-based NGO has been providing winter relief to the poor and needy for the past eight years. The first phase of the Winter Drive was launched in December 2014 under their initiative ‘Winter Relief Project’. Since then, every year, the organisation continues the tradition of helping the underprivileged with an effort to provide them some warmth and relief from the piercing cold winter.
Phase IX of the Winter Drive project will be operating across communities at bastis and slum areas in Delhi NCR, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. Beneficiaries include people from varied demographics across the rural and urban poor of the aforementioned cities. This year, the NGO is carrying out seven Mega Drives over a period of seven weeks and has pledged to reach out to 500 beneficiaries in each drive. The items that will be distributed include blankets, shawls, mufflers, jackets, caps, socks, gloves, and winter food. The team will ensure that the underprivileged in dire need of help are given priority and that due deligence is conducted prior to each drive to prevent any reselling of the distributed items.
Commenting on the occasion, the Founder/President of Wishes and Blessings, Dr Chopra, commented, “Most of us fail to realise the severity and woes of the cold season. Come winter, a majority of the less fortunate people are very often at the disposal of how much cold their bodies can withstand, let alone their capacity to afford a restful night’s sleep. The reality of the matter is -winter kills, and through our Winter Relief Project we hope that we can reach out to as many people in need to ensure that they are well protected from the harshness of the bitter weather.”
Every year, the extreme cold weather takes a toll on homeless people, and amid their challenges, the risk of people freezing to death is high. Based on a study published in the Lancet Planetary Health Journal 2021, nearly 655,400 yearly deaths in India can be attributed to abnormally cold temperatures. It is also estimated that there are 1.77 million homeless people in the country (Global Homelessness Statistics 2022).
The drives will take place from December 2022 through February 2023 with one drive taking place each week. So far, through this project, the organisation has managed to provide warmth to over 25,000 homeless and underprivileged people in the last eight years. The NGO is open to accepting volunteers and sponsors who would like to offer their assistance and extend their support in spreading warmth this winter.