The announcement of PM Modi on March 24 created unprecedented problems for migrant workers. Many of them started walking to reach their home town, in some cases a few hundred kilometres away. They went without food and water.
Aroehan’s Project staff realised that they had to track down such workers and provide help. They found out migrant workers working on brick kilns were stranded at certain villages in Palghar. The Project staff sent an SOS.
“We have identified migrants on Brick kiln in Palghar Block who are in need of basic things in this lockdown villages: Dhuktan – Katkaripada, Diwekarpada and Ranoli (90), Sakhre (38), Haloli-Padospada (18). We must provide them with Grocery and other basic items.” Providing food and other essentials meant substantial cost, a quick estimate informed us that it will cost a little more than Rs. One Lakh for this group.
Dr Shubalakshmi, COO of Aroehan sought help. Aroehan had not planned for this eventuality. But the situation was such that it was not possible to ignore. How can any NGO worth its salt turn Nelson’s eye when a group of people are in a helpless situation?
An appeal was made through a post on Facebook. And also mails were sent to well-wishers requesting donations. The response was much more than what we wished for. In about fifteen hours we collected a little less than Rs. Two Lakhs!
The project team moved with speed. They immediately met 19 families (say about 70+ persons) at Dhuktan and provided each family with a package containing Rice 5 Kg, Tea 500 gm, Sugar 1 Kg, Tur Dal 500 gm, Masala + Turmeric, Edible Oil 1 Litre, Toothpaste and a Soap.
This is the story of Aroehan’s help reaching within 24 hours of identifying the problem. And of responsible citizens who have contributed immediately. Aroehan’s project team will cover the rest of the needy workers tomorrow.
Kudos to the donors who responded within 15 hours. They made money available to Aroehan. Kudos to the Aroehan Team which has shown exceptional speed of response to help the needy.
The story will repeat and continue tomorrow. And our belief in the people’s willingness to support the vulnerable section of society is strengthened.
Vivek S Patwardhan
Realising that it was not proper to publish, I have removed the photograph of Brick Kiln Workers receiving packets.
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”