While the government was slow to support migrant labourers and those affected by the shutting down of all food services, citizens of Bengaluru have pitched in.

In Bengaluru several good samaritans offer food to communities during lockdown
Coronavirus Coronavirus Friday, April 03, 2020 - 12:39

The lockdown has left many people in urban areas with no food, especially those who live a hand to mouth existence, as their incomes have dried up. While governments were unprepared to support the people with a suddenly announced shutdown, several local residents in Bengaluru have stepped in and tried to make sure that no one is left hungry.

There are people who are distributing rations to construction labourers, and collecting funds to distribute cooked food to those in need. And many people who have the funds have donated generously, say these good samaritans.

Prabhakar, of Maarga, says that with the contributions he received, he was able to give out 2,800 packets of food every day, to homeless people, slum dwellers, and daily wage labourers. Prabhakar also says that they were able to buy groceries for 900 families, which is expected to last them a month. He added that hopefully, this would help them stay indoors effectively and be in quarantine.

Brinda Adige, From Global Concerns India, says through the donations which were received, they were able to reach out to about 3,000 people, through distributing dry rations. She says that they will be working with Swiggy from Friday, to distribute cooked food to about 5,000 people every day, especially to those who are street vendors, slum dwellers, and others.

Kishore, from an apartment complex near Hosur road, is leading an initiative to give out about 500 food packets to people on the move, such as delivery boys, homeless people, and others who are affected by the lockdown, which has cut off access to food to many people. Kishore says that about 65 families in the apartment complex are supporting the cause by donating. He says that he also got support from other local businesspersons, such as by providing two commercial size cylinders for free.

Dasarathi, from Sadashivanagar, is an engineer with his own firm. With the pandemic introducing a large scale lockdown, he has tried to make a difference in his own locality. He made a recce of his locality and reached out to 90 construction workers and their children, living in under-construction houses, with no money or food. He asked them what they need, and tried to fulfil that need. He made a Facebook post putting together his learnings about how to help people out in such times, and the post has since gone viral.

“We put in our own money initially to buy them the rations they need, since they already have a facility to cook, but they have run out of money to buy groceries,” Dasarathi says. He says that his Facebook post has inspired others too, to follow suit. Dasarathi urges people to do the same in their own localities. 

“Individuals must take responsibility for the people in their locality. There’s a huge gap between the help which is being given out and the need. Organisations can help a few thousand individuals but the problem is true for a few lakh individuals. We don’t have to give a lot: one person per week is for only about Rs 200. As middle class, privileged people, it is our duty to help those around us, who have nothing.”

Read: Five ways to help underprivileged people affected by the lockdown in Bengaluru

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