It was just like any other day. The sun was high in the sky, children were going home from school, myriads of cars and bikes filled with salaries employees were winding off for the day.
An announcement blared across Television sets, mobile phones and news portals across the country. A nationwide lockdown was put into place. In a mere four hours, 1.3 billion Indians were told that for the next 21 days, they’re to stay in their homes. For many corporate companies, the employees were working from home well in advance. Their cupboards were stocked.
Nobody for a second thought about the workers. Migrant workers, daily wage workers, labourers, domestic helpers — 190 million workers stranded with nothing but their families and the little they had.
“Work just disappeared”, said Mohan, a mason from Mumbai.
As the wealthy and the middle classes enclosed themselves in gated colonies, our towns and megacities began to extrude their working-class citizens — their migrant workers — like so much unwanted accrual.
- Arundhati Roy
In a bid to save the world’s second-most populous country, a quarter of its population, the ones who built this country from the ground up were forgotten — almost like lost sheep. As the middle classes flocked to the supermarkets to hoard up on whatever is left, multitudes of migrant labourers swarmed the bus stations, railway stations, and to their dismay, were unaware of the transportation ban. In a futile attempt to return to their villages, an anxious exodus of workers walked on the sprawling highways.
Unfortunately, police guarded the state borders and sent back any workers who managed to walk the 750 km stretch. They stood on the roads with nothing but children who eagerly looked at them with empty stomachs. Their cries of desperation went unheard. Their stomachs growled while they looked for means of survival.
These workers struggle to feed their families with the little they earn. Today, with no work and no pay, their children are starving. The mothers, unable to feed their children sat in agony in their modest homes. An attempt to stem the dreadful pandemic just threw a quarter of the world’s largest democracy into an abysmal state of starvation.
Crises are the best time to bring out the best in people. We, at Donatekart, saw the best in not one people but in more than 25,000+ people. In our fight against this dreadful pandemic, we strived to provide as much help as we could to the poor and the vulnerable communities.
Through the kind and generous contributions of our donors, we at Donatekart were able to:
Reach out to Daily Wage Workers and their families. Through our partnered NGOs, we were able to help provide grocery kits to more than 30,000+ families. These families didn’t live in gated communities or in villas, their modest homes were a combination of a few bricks and a tarpaulin sheet. Sometimes, it would just be a tin shed with a maybe a bulb or two.
At Donatekart, were able to provide essential staples that are commonly used across households in India, like Dal, Rice, Sugar and so on. These families haven't eaten in days. One grocery kit could feed a family for up to a week.
“We will die of starvation before Corona”, said Jamna Bai, a domestic helper.
Thousands of families still need help.
Join Donatekart, in our battle against this deadly disease. Our NGO partners work across India in Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Jaipur, Pune, Jammu, Mumbai, and in many towns and cities. For as little as Rs. 600, you can feed a family for up to a week.
As a nation, we’ve been through crises before. We’ve overcome them, together.