By Ratna Devi
One of the earliest cases of a corona positive patient was from Gurgaon, Haryana. The state went into action immediately, identifying and locking down sections, while ensuring that people were screened and isolated. The unprecedented nation-wide lockdown on March 22nd brought this bustling business hub to a standstill and with it the entire workforce that supports the people who run the business hubs. The maids, housekeepers, nannies, dog walkers, cooks, cleaners, car washers etc suddenly found themselves looking at a bleak future. Drivers at taxi agencies, part time workers and millions of other migrants were not prepared for this crisis and many had no means to make a living with everything shutting down.
Gurgaon has always been known for its magnanimity and this situation was no different. Individuals, apartments, neighbourhoods joined hands to help as many people as possible with dry rations, money, staples and even cooked food. Very soon NGOs, institutions and companies joined in too, supplying food and staples to many migrants stranded with no jobs or any other means of livelihood. One such initiative was by The Lotus Petal Foundation- an NGO working with Street children.
Initiatives like The Gurgaon Study circles have identified individual families and are supporting them with daily rations. Mera Parivar NGO is distributing free vegetables and free packages to different communities. Clothes Box Foundation is reaching out to the vulnerable sections of society and most importantly the hungry to provide food and rations. Bhajan Global Impact Foundation is providing a ration kit to migrant workers containing daily use essential items.
Sarvahitey an NGO is providing packaged cooked food to migrant workers. The Earth Saviors Foundation is feeding about 300 destitute old people abandoned by their families. Pure hearts is sponsoring 2000 meals a day to those who are hungry. The administration of Gurgaon has joined in by providing food and cash relief to those who need it. Food distribution centers have been opened up to cater to people stranded without jobs, Agrasar, a social impact organization based in Gurgaon working in the field of Employability, Education and Entrepreneurship among the migrant communities is providing Ration/Cooked Food on a daily basis. Lions Club and Jaquar Foundation are also distributing food and ration to various migrant workers.
At Rasoi, local residents supply meals that are
distributed to the migrants by the local police.
Several corporates like Zomato, Uber, Amazon have also joined in to feed the stranded labourers and daily wage workers. A few large hearted residents have formed groups to feed stray dogs, cows and other animals as these cannot find food in the absence of all eateries and shops. One such initiative is Umeed for strays, residents collectively feed about 15 dogs and 5 cows everyday. Big Bazaar, BBDaily and other such chains are ensuring that vegetables, staples and milk is delivered to the doorsteps of the residents daily. Other Pan India Organisations also working in Gurgaon are Uday Foundation, Impactguru, Save the children, Plan India, Care India, ACF (Action against hunger), Project Concern International etc. The pandemic is likely to last a few more months and people will slowly get back to their daily grind. However the helping hands that came forward will hopefully continue to extend support to those who will find it difficult to get back their jobs or make a living.