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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 Country

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

22,81,49,892Cases
19,07,93,163Active
3,26,71,167Recovered
46,85,562Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,81,49,892 and 46,85,562 have died; 19,07,93,163 are active cases and 3,26,71,167 have recovered as on September 19, 2021 at 3:52 am.

India

3,34,48,163 30,773Cases
3,32,1588,481Active
3,26,71,167 38,945Recovered
4,44,838 309Deaths
In India, there are 3,34,48,163 confirmed cases including 4,44,838 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,32,158 and 3,26,71,167 have recovered as on September 19, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,18,502 3,391

51,472 530

63,28,561 3,841

1,38,469 80

Kerala

44,88,813 19,325

1,81,411 8,084

42,83,963 27,266

23,439 143

Karnataka

29,67,083 889

15,783 205

29,13,713 1,080

37,587 14

Tamil Nadu

26,43,683 1,653

16,893 50

25,91,480 1,581

35,310 22

Andhra Pradesh

20,37,353 1,174

14,653 144

20,08,639 1,309

14,061 9

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,652 9

193 2

16,86,572 7

22,887

West Bengal

15,61,014 728

7,967 41

15,34,406 757

18,641 12

Delhi

14,38,469 41

404 3

14,12,980 44

25,085

Odisha

10,19,621 695

5,929 689

10,05,564

8,128 6

Chhattisgarh

10,05,042 28

332 14

9,91,150 42

13,560

Rajasthan

9,54,246 8

102 2

9,45,190 10

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,715 13

143 11

8,15,490 24

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,386 6

97 12

7,81,772 18

10,517

Haryana

7,70,711 6

323 0

7,60,580 6

9,808

Bihar

7,25,881 10

65 0

7,16,158 10

9,658

Telangana

6,63,281 255

5,148 75

6,54,230 329

3,903 1

Punjab

6,01,236 30

316 7

5,84,453 23

16,467

Assam

5,97,709 365

5,063 102

5,86,856 465

5,790 2

Jharkhand

3,48,114 3

74 20

3,42,907 23

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,376 21

282 0

3,35,704 20

7,390 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,773 152

1,479 39

3,21,878 113

4,416

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,813 174

1,610 30

2,11,554 142

3,649 2

Goa

1,75,414 123

771 40

1,71,351 81

3,292 2

Puducherry

1,25,384 128

924 5

1,22,631 122

1,829 1

Manipur

1,18,261 140

2,180 92

1,14,251 228

1,830 4

Tripura

83,840 31

367 37

82,665 67

808 1

Meghalaya

79,325 119

1,876 76

76,075 192

1,374 3

Mizoram

79,171 1,104

14,456 161

64,456 938

259 5

Chandigarh

65,176 4

35 1

64,323 3

818

Arunachal Pradesh

54,060 32

461 44

53,328 76

271

Sikkim

30,893 54

728 28

29,786 82

379

Nagaland

30,840 60

491 20

29,696 39

653 1

Ladakh

20,702

109 0

20,386

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

1 4

10,665 4

4

Lakshadweep

10,356

6 1

10,299 1

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,598 2

14 0

7,455 2

129

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