- Aashri society is providing daily meals to needy and COVID-19 patients
- NGO is also helping in arranging beds and distributing food in 8 hospitals
- We spent Rs 24 lakh from our personal savings: President, Aashri Society
New Delhi: The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be not just a health crisis, but also a humanitarian crisis. Back-to-back lockdowns imposed to control the spread of the virus led to many people losing their livelihoods. Like the last year’s wave, this time too saw many COVID warriors stepping up to help those worst hit by the crisis. One such warrior is the Hyderabad-based Aashri Society, which helped COVID-19 patients in the city by providing two home-cooked meals daily.
Aashri Society has been working for the poor, helping them with their daily meals for the last 10 years. The initiative started in 2011. However, with the implementation of lockdown in the state, the NGO went a step ahead and took it upon the additional task of caring for Covid positive patients.
Rama Kishore Reddy, the President of Aashri Society tells NDTV that with the lockdown implementation many poor people are unable to feed themselves as many depend on daily wages. He said,
We are providing home-cooked food to COVID-19 patients and the daily wages, free of cost. Currently, we are catering to 310 covid patients and we are also helping them with supply of medicines as well as groceries. Initially, we started feeding 23 COVID positive patients on April 4.
Moreover, he says, that they are also helping COVID patients by arranging hospital beds and is providing free food at eight hospitals in Hyderabad, he added.
Mr Reddy said that on daily basis, nearly about 600 cooked food packets are being distributed to the poor people alone. He mentioned that to date, more than 1 lakh cooked food packets have been distributed to the needy and the poor.
Mr Reddy, who runs a granite business in the city, is financing these initiatives by himself, along with the help of his wife, who is an event organiser and runs a dance studio.
Due to the fear of the second wave of COVID-19, Mr Reddy says that not many volunteers turned up to help them with their initiatives, so he and his wife are themselves going door-to-door to distribute food packets.
Till date, we have spent around Rs. 24 lakh in helping the poor most of which is from our savings.
He mentioned that they do not ask for donations and if at all any person come forward to help them with donations, then the service would be done under the name of that donor.
Mr Reddy further said that a few individuals, after knowing about the works of Aashri Society, have come forward to help them with donations and urges those who can, to come forward and help the needy during these tough times.
This is the best time for anyone to come forward and go the poor and needy as most of them are suffering, he added.
Last year during the migrant crisis due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the NGO also helped migrants from Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to go back to thier homes and helped them with dry ration and groceries.
Mr Reddy said that, apart from serving food to the poor, the society also runs an orphanage since 2011, where orphan and semi orphan children are provided food and education. They are also actively adopting kids in their orphanage, who are losing their parents due to COVID-19.The NGO also provides electric wheelchairs to muscular dystrophy victims through companies.
Prapurna Kishor, the founder of Aashri Society and Mr Reddy’s father, wants to do as much as they can to better life of people.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.