AFIRM-INDIA Being Social, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has been actively helping the underprivileged with essential food items to survive the coronavirus pandemic. The Young Youths in the organization have been on-ground, reaching to the remotest parts of Bengaluru to provide relief materials to the deprived.
“We cannot sit and be a part of the blame-game. People need support, the marginalised part of society have been hardest hit due to the pandemic” said a Trustee, However The organisation understands that this is not the time to indulge in petty activities rather to mobilize help and ensure relief is provided with minimum movement and we as AFIRM-INDIA team of Young Youths joined and supported many Migrants, widows, old age Persons in Destitute homes and slums visits as well.
Many of the families folding hands for just one kilogram of rice is what the pandemic has brought them to. Watching small children, families of workers or the elderly queue up for rice and dal is heart-wrenching. You can see the desperation on their faces, a fight to get through each day and many starve if we don’t provide them the food.
The aim of AFIRM-INDIA is to provide sufficient help that would sustain a single family for at least ten days. The grocery kit has five kilograms of rice, two kilograms of dal, cooking oil packet, spices and also vegetables was provided for them AND our volunteers have supplied 4000 food packets for the lunch, dinner for almost 45 days of lockdown in the District.
AFIRM-INDIA volunteers have been visiting destitute homes where the old aged women and men have been placed without care, our volunteers provide basic necessities such as food, medicine and the fruits to maintain good health and we also joined hands with some NGO to provide the foods across to poor during the pandemic times in Lockdown.
However, Lack of awareness is one of the major drawbacks. While distributing essential food items in slums we have witnessed that people are not educated about the meaning and importance of social distancing.
Therefore, before starting with the distribution drives, Being Social volunteers conduct a short session explaining how to wash their hands, to wear a mask and to be mindful to maintain distance. It is only after educating them about the basics of hygiene, they move ahead to help them with food products.
We handed almost 5 kilograms of rice and 2 kilograms of dal to almost 300 families of the construction workers at a construction site. With no work, We could see the helplessness on the faces of these workers and workers who supposedly are working at a construction site, reside on shelter near such sites.
The daily wages that they earn is the only mode of livelihood for them to feed their families, with the imposition of the lockdown their lives have come to a standstill, survival has become an everyday fight.
AFIRM-INDIA has taken precautionary measures. It is important to understand that the volunteers interact with a number of people while distributing groceries, and in different parts of the city. We don’t want to put anyone’s life at risk, at any given point of time,
What are the problems faced during distribution drives?
We have lists out the difficulties that they face as an organization engaged in social activities during the coronavirus pandemic. We need to have a channel or a medium through which we are aware of all the places so we have interactions with our volunteers in the WhatsApp chat and then decide the places.
For exmaple, if an AFIRM-INDIA volunteers’ group have provided relief materials to people at particular area or locality, there should be a record of when and for long the food would sustain the area so that other groups can plan accordingly and follow-up. Also, it would help us ensure that trial and error is avoided and all the areas receive help. It can happen only when AFIRM-INDIA volunteer groups communicate and coordinate on a single platform. Highlighting the significance of social media to plan activities, AFIRM-INDIA NGO mentions the date, time and place while posting about the activities to be carried out on their social media platforms.