India recorded nearly two lakh covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, and who knows how far the numbers would go in future!
But this ain’t gonna stop so soon!!
And while people are bucking up against this deadly virus who’s reproducing new mutants every other day, they are forgetting how privileged and able they are to find so many alternatives and options to survive.
Think about those who are fighting every day to make their ends meet — from daily wage labourers to low-paying workers, more than half the country doesn’t have enough to eat every day!
Fortunately, we are blessed with some good samaritans who did not think twice and went out of their way to help these less fortunate beings and proved that you don’t need to be a trust or a foundation or Sonu Sood to help people. All you need to have is that ‘self awareness’ and a zeal to bring a difference.
Here is a quick random compilation of some of those wonderful souls who I bet would also leave a smile on your face.
Jaipur-based Lalit was stuck in Delhi when the lockdown happened. Though he has always been helping people, he knew that the lockdown was going to be cruel. He pooled up all his savings, which by the way he saved from his freelance work, got some financial help from families/ friends and started distributing cooked food during the entire lockdown.
He eventually helped more than eight lakh people and managed to continue until he got symptoms. Even when he was quarantined, he was constantly on the phone — assisting the needy ones in every possible way.
A UPSC aspirant, Lalit never dreamed of anything else but serving society. He believes in giving back without expecting anything in return.
When Hyderabad-based Ramu saw a watchman, who earns hardly INR 5-6k monthly, helping migrant workers during the first phase of lockdown, it hit him hard!
He sold some of his lands, pooled money from his savings and PF and set up a Rice ATM. Since cooking was not really feasible, he decided to donate dry rations and other essential commodities which could help a family sustain for at least four to five days.
He reached more than 20,000 families so far and is still reaching out to as many needy families as he can. “I don’t intend to stop until we feed every hungry soul out there,” is what he says!
Tamil Nadu based Manisha Krishnasamy has been serving people much before the lockdown, but the pandemic made her realize what worth her acts were carrying around.
From rehabilitating the homeless to rescuing beggars, drug addicts, destitute and those afflicted with terrible diseases, Manisha never stopped even for a day. She believes that despite the financial or economic status, every human deserves a chance to live life well — and have the basics at least.
“We collect the required data on their current status and histories and chalk out a pragmatic plan to rehabilitate them as per their wishes and needs. If they are old, we admit them to home care for senior citizens. If they are intellectually disabled, we help them get admitted to a hospital for treatment. If they have a family and wish to rejoin them, we help them there as well. We do the same if they want a job. We categorize abandoned people and admit them into various types of homes, but only with prior permission from the police,” Manisha shared.
Neha was in Jamshedpur when the lockdown happened. Like everyone, she was also understanding the seriousness and severity of the situation.
Though a lot of NGOs, trusts and philanthropists were coming out to help people, small and local NGOs and communities were struggling to help. When Neha encountered one such NGO, she came up with the idea of launching NGOStory — to help them share their stories, talk about their initiatives and fundraising challenges.
So far, she has collaborated with more than 200 NGOs and aims to reach out to 1000+ in the next two years. She is also on a mission to empower 100,000 underprivileged children and youth through her one-of-a-kind education initiative, ‘TechJr’. Knowing that she is able to make a difference in every possible way makes her content!
When the Borivali-based wildlife rescuer started living in her hometown, Palghar, during the 2020 lockdown, she also started supporting the local daily wage workers. She took special permission from the Superintendent of Police to feed the strays and started delivering food kits to the needy ones. The food kit included rice, dal, oil and basic cooking spices.
It would not be wrong to say that the middle class and people with different abilities suffered a lot. While the upper class were super sustained, the lower class managed to get enough help from society and government. But the people in between were stuck in jeopardy — where their ‘self respect’ didn’t allow them to ask for help from people, nor were they eligible for any government assistance.
So, when Jamshedpur-based Vineet Saraiwala realized this, he came up with the idea of launching Atypical, an online job portal that helps people with disabilities find jobs. The portal also helps PWDs in selling products made by them.
Being a partially visually impaired man, Vineet understands how hard it is for people with different abilities to come out and work — especially in the times of covid-19.
He has more than 60 volunteers from worldwide to help him, and his venture has helped many people so far.
This 61-year-old Bihar-based teacher started teaching underprivileged kids back in the 80s. And he never charged for more than INR 1 for every student. The ‘ek rupiya’ was also to develop accountability and a sense of responsibility in parents — so that they could be aware of what their kids were up to.
When the school he was teaching in was shut down permanently, he made the porch of his house into a makeshift classroom and continued educating children there.
When the entire world was locked down, he turned to smartphones and learned technology to keep teaching his kids without any hurdle. “I always carry my chalk, duster and pen. Even If I see a child studying along the road, I stop and try to help him in his studies,” the hero teacher says.
And the list doesn’t stop here. I and my laptop might get exhausted, but the list wouldn’t!!
I’m privileged enough to write this post from the comfort of my home, but not many people are. These are the faces that inspire me to wake up every day and reach out to at least one creature in need — oh, it could be a dog or a bird too!
Helping and impacting is not really limited to human beings. If you are changing even one life, write to us and share your experience. Inspire the world and let them know that there is much more than economy, business, funding and exits!! 🙂 #TowardsABetterWorld