Pune, July 21, 2020: The economic hardship induced by the lockdown has left the boatmen living in Assi Ghat, Varanasi with no source of income. Their misery has been compounded with the onset of monsoon as they cannot venture into the Ganga. The timely intervention of the Mukul Madhav Foundation (MMF) and Finolex Industries to provide them with grocery kits helped them overcome a humanitarian crisis.
MMF has collaborated with Vikas Khanna, Michelin Master Chef and Feed India Initiative to support these communities in Varanasi. For those living on the banks of the Assi Ghat, tourism is the mainstay and the lockdown robbed them of their livelihood as they were not allowed to venture into the river at a time when it’s their main season before the onset of monsoon.
The Foundation stepped forward to support not only 700 boatman families but also widows, transgenders and the physically-challenged who have been left helpless during the crisis. A cumulative of 2000 grocery kits were distributed in the presence of Nikhil Zanvar Mushtaque Ali, ex-Indian Football team captain Lalit Upadhyay, Indian Men’s Hockey team player – Vinod Singh, Director, Sheat College of Engineering.
Over the past four months, FIL and MMF have been providing grocery kits to daily wage workers, slum dwellers, rag pickers, migrants, transgender communities and sex workers primarily in Maharashtra, and a pan-India effort to support the plumber community. MMF was at the forefront to assist those affected in West Bengal by the Amphan Cyclone.
A total of 80,000 people have been supported by the Foundation so far thanks to the support received from like-minded individuals, donors and partner organisations.