Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and a nationwide lockdown was imposed, a group of young professionals came together to start an initiative called 'Hunger Collective' which aims to address the issue of hunger among the poor and distressed families in the country. Formed on March 28, four days after the lockdown was imposed, ?Hunger Collective' is now working in many districts across the country like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Faridabad, Satara, Udgir, Maheshwar, Roha, Arrah among others.
Hunger Collective, according to co-founder Rajashri Sai, is a collaboration of three Mumbai based institutions- Impactree, a social impact data company, EDUCO, a non-government organisation, CI Metrices, a software development company.
Hunger Collective has till now reached out to over one lakh people with cooked meals, ration and hygiene kits.
According to Rajashri, Hunger Collective uses WhatsApp communication channel to authenticate the demand for food where needed. It has collaborated with several NGOs and government authorities to provide relief to the daily wagers and others who have lost their livelihood during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The initiative has also raised over one crore with support from over 90,000 people across India including various citizen organisations and individuals to continue the relief work. Rajashri said, 'By the end of April, when people ran out of money and even NGOs started running out of money, we started doing our own fundraiser.'
Apart from providing food and ration kits, another initiative that Hunger Collective had undertaken was supporting the migrant workers from Tamil Nadu who were stranded in front of railway stations. The collective also assisted the migrant workers in returning to their homes via ?Shramik Special train' that was operated by the railways to transport stranded migrant workers to their home states.
It also crowd funded one train to help 1,700 migrant workers return to their native place after the ?Shramik Special train' scheme of the government was over.
Hunger Collective has also donated over 1,000 PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) kits in the COVID-19 relief centre in Mumbai. With an aim to help protect the frontline warriors like doctors and other healthcare personnel, the collective provides them with PPEs, masks, and medical equipments like oximeters.