This Mumbai-Based Group Of Professionals Is Fighting Hunger During The COVID-19 Pandemic Across The Country

This Mumbai-Based Group Of Professionals Is Fighting Hunger During The COVID-19 Pandemic Across The Country

Along with food and ration kits to the poor and needy, the group is also providing personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to healthcare workers
This Mumbai-Based Group Of Professionals Is Fighting Hunger During The COVID-19 Pandemic Across The CountryMumbai based initiative ‘Hunger Collective’ has provided food and ration to over one lakh people across the country during COVID-19 pandemic
Highlights
  • Hunger Collective uses WhatsApp communication networks to reach the needy
  • The group has helped to send over 7,000 migrant workers back to their homes
  • The group is working in coordination with government, private sector, NGOs

New Delhi: A group of young professionals came together to start an initiative called ‘Hunger Collective’ to address the issue of hunger among the poor and distressed families in the country soon after the nationwide lockdown was announced in late March to curb the transmission of COVID-19. Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, lakhs of daily wagers, cab and auto drivers, construction workers, waiters, and others who work in small businesses lost their livelihood and had to struggle to survive and put food on the table. For a lot of people who migrated to cities, with their savings drying up, they were forced to take a long and hard journey back to their home. With an aim to provide some relief to the migrant workers and daily wagers, Hunger Collective collaborated with NGOs, private firms and government agencies to distribute food, ration kits and essential items to the needy.

Also Read: Beyond Coronavirus Pandemic: Story Of Waste Pickers From Pune Who Are Defying All Odds And Are Fighting A Waste War In This Crisis

‘Hunger Collective’ was formed on March 28, four days after the lockdown was imposed, out of the collaboration of three Mumbai based institutions- Impactree, a social impact data company; EDUCO, a non-government organisation; CI Metrices, a software development company. The initiative has till now served food and ration kits to over one lakh people.

While talking to NDTV about the initiative, Rajashri Sai, co-founder, Hunger Collective and Founder, Impactree said,

Soon after the lockdown started, we quickly put a platform using WhatsApp communication channel to authenticate the demand for food where needed. We were in touch with state and district departments and soon realised that the government was not able to focus on food much at that point of time because they were dealing with the medical aspects of the lockdown to control the pandemic. We thought that we can use the technology in collecting the data of demand from the migrant workers and daily wage earners who were stuck in Mumbai. We collaborated with a number of NGOs. So if an NGO was going to a certain place to distribute food, we used to give them a list of people who need food at a place near to the place they planned on visiting. Like this, we were serving more than 25,000 people by the mid of April.

As Hunger Collective which has about 30 volunteers started reaching to more poor and needy people in slums of Mumbai, its work started getting recognition and the group started collaborating with government authorities and NGOs outside Mumbai as well. Currently, the collective is working in many locations across the country like Delhi, Pune, Faridabad, Satara, Udgir, Maheshwar, Roha, Arrah among others. Ms Sai added,

We started working with government departments including the disaster management department in Mumbai and Delhi and with the Department of Defence in many locations. 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. So far we have raised about one crore with support from over 90,000 people across India including various citizen organisations and individuals.

Also Read: This Mumbai Based Teenager Has Been Raising Funds To Feed The Poor Affected Due To COVID-19 Lockdown

Acknowledging the initiatives of Hunger Collective, Rajeshwari Koti, Deputy controller civil defence Raigad district, Maharashtra said that in times of crisis like these, the government and civil society must work together to help those who have been affected the most and there is no doubt that Hunger Collective has been playing a great role in providing relief to the people in need since the starting of the lockdown.

While sharing his experience with NDTV, Mohammad Shahbaz, a Delhi University student and Hunger Collective’s ground volunteer at Bhalaswa said,

When the pandemic hit the country, I knew that it will not get over soon and extreme step will be taken by the government. However, I did not imagine that it will prove to be so devastating for so many people. I live in a slum in Bhalaswa and I have seen how scared and devasted a lot of families were when the breadwinners lost their jobs. So I along with a couple of my friends started distributing ration and food with whatever little savings we had. When our savings were exhausted, we reached out to Hunger Collective which provided us support in continuing with our initiative.

Also Read: As Coronavirus Cases Rise And Healthcare System Fall Short, Mumbai Friends’ Duo Provide Free Oxygen Cylinders

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 and assist them in returning to their homes. Ms Sai said,

We supported the migrant workers from Tamil Nadu with food and ration for over two months. We then realised that this was not a sustainable way but Tamil Nadu was not ready to take them back at that point of time. We worked collectively with NGOs and media after which we got support from Corporates and with their support we were able to galvanise support from the Tamil Nadu government and Maharashtra government. Just a few days back we were able to send the four trains from Mumbai with over 7,000 migrants to Tamil Nadu. The last train was entirely sponsored by Hunger Collective via crowdfunding as the ‘Shramik Train’ scheme got over on May 31 and the last train couldn’t leave while the scheme was still running.

Ms Sai further added that once migrant workers reach their state, Hunger Collective assist them in getting into quarantine centre and back to their homes once the quarantine period gets over. Ms Sai said,

We follow up constantly and make sure that they reach home safely.

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 in protecting the frontline warriors like doctors and other healthcare personnel, the collective provides them with PPEs, masks, and medical equipments like oximeters.

Also Read: Indian Territorial Army Officers Team Up To Fight COVID-19, Provide Ration And Hygiene Kits To People In Mumbai

World

17,66,30,634Cases
5,80,25,717Active
11,47,82,895Recovered
38,22,022Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 193 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 17,66,30,634 and 38,22,022 have died; 5,80,25,717 are active cases and 11,47,82,895 have recovered as on June 16, 2021 at 3:30 am.

India

2,96,33,105 62,224Cases
8,65,43247,946Active
2,83,88,100 1,07,628Recovered
3,79,573 2,542Deaths
In India, there are 2,96,33,105 confirmed cases including 3,79,573 deaths. The number of active cases is 8,65,432 and 2,83,88,100 have recovered as on June 16, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

59,24,773 7,652

1,41,440 8,982

56,69,179 15,176

1,14,154 1,458

Karnataka

27,77,010 5,041

1,62,303 9,859

25,81,559 14,785

33,148 115

Kerala

27,48,204 12,246

1,12,792 1,456

26,23,904 13,536

11,508 166

Tamil Nadu

23,78,298 11,805

1,25,215 11,669

22,23,015 23,207

30,068 267

Andhra Pradesh

18,20,134 5,741

75,134 4,879

17,32,948 10,567

12,052 53

Uttar Pradesh

17,03,207 270

7,221 890

16,74,072 1,104

21,914 56

West Bengal

14,68,044 3,268

20,046 1,125

14,30,949 2,068

17,049 75

Delhi

14,31,498 228

3,078 148

14,03,569 364

24,851 12

Chhattisgarh

9,88,172 609

11,717 943

9,63,113 1,544

13,342 8

Rajasthan

9,50,133 172

5,619 848

9,35,658 1,006

8,856 14

Odisha

8,59,526 3,405

44,358 3,436

8,11,780 6,799

3,388 42

Gujarat

8,21,078 352

8,884 658

8,02,187 1,006

10,007 4

Madhya Pradesh

7,88,649 224

3,610 331

7,76,424 528

8,615 27

Haryana

7,66,357 228

3,703 374

7,53,584 564

9,070 38

Bihar

7,17,949 410

4,360 412

7,04,075 813

9,514 9

Telangana

6,06,436 1,556

19,933 528

5,82,993 2,070

3,510 14

Punjab

5,89,153 628

10,802 1,111

5,62,701 1,691

15,650 48

Assam

4,66,590 3,415

41,184 475

4,21,378 2,906

4,028 34

Jharkhand

3,43,793 184

2,646 416

3,36,058 596

5,089 4

Uttarakhand

3,37,449 274

3,642 266

3,26,822 515

6,985 25

Jammu And Kashmir

3,08,726 715

12,407 1,125

2,92,114 1,830

4,205 10

Himachal Pradesh

1,99,197 321

4,050 382

1,91,737 691

3,410 12

Goa

1,63,048 327

4,175 231

1,55,926 548

2,947 10

Puducherry

1,13,192 355

4,668 279

1,06,828 629

1,696 5

Chandigarh

61,200 40

486 21

59,917 58

797 3

Manipur

61,096 785

8,744 301

51,354 476

998 8

Tripura

60,385 536

4,886 65

54,870 596

629 5

Meghalaya

42,759 450

4,430 99

37,579 542

750 7

Arunachal Pradesh

31,938 290

2,849 40

28,934 326

155 4

Nagaland

23,854 101

2,972 229

20,423 327

459 3

Ladakh

19,649 38

552 20

18,898 57

199 1

Sikkim

18,659 209

3,239 67

15,136 273

284 3

Mizoram

15,899 268

3,637 45

12,191 312

71 1

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,473 9

61 2

10,408 7

4

Lakshadweep

9,297 61

484 36

8,768 96

45 1

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,280 11

105 4

7,049 15

126

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