- These brothers from Chennai had returned from Belfast before lockdown
- Through crowdfunding, the duo raised Rs. 6 lakh to help people during COVID
- Money was used in providing dry ration to people during COVID-19 lockdown
New Delhi: “During one of our food distribution drives, a small boy with a tiffin box in his hand came to me and said, anna (older brother) food. That moment really touched us”, recalls 19-year-old Sultan Abbas, a resident of Chennai who has been involved in relief feeding during Coronavirus lockdown. Sultan along with his older brother Mohammed Abdul Salam returned from Northern Ireland’s Belfast to Chennai right before the lockdown was imposed in India. After completing a two weeks mandatory quarantine, the duo started helping the people in need by providing food and dry ration.
Talking about what prompted the young minds to help the people, 21-year-old Abdul Salam who is an engineering student said,
Back in Ireland, we were involved in a lot of social activities and considering the fact that we came in dire situations; when we were hitting a new reality here in Chennai, we thought we should make use of our skill-set, that we learned overseas, to put to use for our home or native population.
With the support of friends and family, the duo started to feed thousands of people. The small initiative took a big leap when people from all across the world started to support and with that, the brothers managed to raise Rs. 6 lakh. Talking about funding and how the things fell in place, Abdul Salam said,
We got donations mainly from our friends, family, and social circle who shared it. We didn’t expect such a response initially but then we started a page on GoFundMe, a crowdfunding platform and received donations from all across the world. Our university and a lot of organisations shared the initiative which gave it a big boost and helped us raise funds.
Further shedding light on the relief feeding and how the money was used, Sultan said,
Along with feeding 1,000 people for 30 days during the lockdown we provided lockdown kits consisting of essential items like rice, pulses, and others. One kit helps a family sustain for a week. The money was used in distributing these kits among sanitation workers, auto drivers and people who had lost their livelihood.
This way the duo has reached out to 13,000 people in Chennai and plans to continue with their efforts as much as they can. After helping people in these testing times, the sibling-duo thinks that everybody should step up and give back to society because only that would lead to a better society. Signing off, Abdul Salam said,
Especially when there is a pandemic like this, it’s the right time to reflect on the privileges that we have and use those privileges to help those who are not privileged.
The brothers also believe that youngsters should not neglect their responsibility to the society instead they should make volunteering a part of their life to keep the human part alive.