These are people who don’t get the government’s cash grants, the free food distributions where they are, and hence are trying to walk back to their villages to take the advantage of the same. Currently they are stuck where they are.
We have no ambitions or intentions to be a large participant in the hunger alleviation process. Ours is a small endeavor by volunteers to reach those whom the state is unable to reach.
Wherever we see a pocket of suffering individuals we are happy to step and send food and essential medical supplies or dry rations that will keep people indoors.
We will continue our volunteer efforts till such time as our contributors are assured that the state’s effort reach the lowest common denominator.
We welcome you to participate if you wish to contribute in volunteer efforts to reach those that the administration will take some time to reach.
Directly support individuals impacted by the virus
As the crisis grows, the people most affected by it will be those living in India’s unorganised sector of the Indian economy. These are typically daily wagers, maids, house helps, construction site workers, plumbers, electricians, workers in small units, delivery boys, etc., and their financial wellbeing will be directly impacted by their inability to earn their daily wage. It is here that we can all extend our help to such affected persons in turn help their families.
The Immediate Requirements
The large amount of hourly/daily wage workers do not have the backing of any sort of insurance, and as we all know they are among the most vulnerable to the negative financial effects of the pandemic. With no way to cover expenses, workers like these will inevitably struggle to earn money for food and medicinal support.
For these two important reasons, reasons, it’s important to look at us, the blessed class of people who The Almighty has granted His Graces, and make a concrete initiative to help them get ahead of the crisis by starting to provide necessary support to individuals like these.
These low-income households are already strained in good times to make ends meet, but this new threat makes it even more important for us to be able to provide immediate medical assistance (to address the basic Covid19 Symptoms) to these targeted households. As educated Indians we have a responsibility to take along the millions who are suffering. Our involvement here will be community participation in conjunction with local authorities to test those people who we are serving food to, and to bring them to the attention of the health authorities if they show signs of the infection.
We need a massive input of funds to run such an initiative(s). Our first step is to raise Rs. 1 crore. But the amount of time and effort needed is massive. We need volunteers, we need administration support to do this, we need help from the authorities for security, we need help from medical institutions for the health checks and we need delivery partners to run this initiative.
By our current estimates, the use of funds we foresee are as follows:
75% towards free preparation and food distribution, starting with a 100 percent initially.
15% percent towards medical supplies, thermometers, masks, gloves, soaps, sanitizers and social distancing devices
5% towards transportation costs
We see ourselves only as the first step to doing this, we are happy to even hand over the initiative to anyone who has the wherewithal and the experience and the scale to take it up and run it end to end, and keep ourselves in a volunteer role. This is just the initiation of the exercise. It will need unprecedented support for all of us to safely get through these tough times.
Since basic food is the initial element, we are looking at a fulfilment of a meal with 2200 Cal (as per the WHO guidelines). We would like to tie up with cloud kitchens who have the geographical reach to source the meals at good rate (considering this is a social venture) using their existing capacities, with private equity and venture funds, who have access to the funding, to use their good offices to provide us access to CSR initiatives of their investee companies and with large corporate houses and public trusts who have been for decades doing yeomen service. Everyone is welcome to participate in this initiative.
We intend to be operational in such vulnerable areas around / at Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Surat and Malegaon, though we plan to address the initiative at Delhi for which the drill down is in progress, with focus in the areas such as:
Chandni Chowk Labour Market
The Operating Model
The initial plan is the trial pilot for Delhi. We will tie up with a cloud kitchen that will provide us with the meals prepared and delivered to us in unmarked vans in central locations in these areas. We are trying to identify a reputed Organisation (NGO) which has the passion and the wherewithal, to be able to carry out the food (and medicines) to help us with the last mile distribution in these areas.
The local administration (local municipal authorities) will need to roped in to provide help in identifying BPL beneficiaries, who will help us identify the right people to be able to cater to in a meaningful manner.
We are conscious of the risk exposure to those who will rush to collect the food (and medicines) for which we will have to maintain social distancing rules, the local laws (if Section 144 has been imposed). In this endeavor we will need the local administration’s permission to operate with these zones. More importantly we will also need to Police support for helping this initiative reach its objective, without any impediment.
The above are aspects where any personal connection that you can provide us will help us in seeking the right combination which will help us steer forward together to help the needy in a concrete manner.
About the sponsor:
(Volunteering in a personal Capacity)
Venkat Iyer is a Partner with a Human Capital Consulting Firm, Aventus Human Capital Partners LLP, with a demonstrated history of working in the human resources industry. Aligning people to performance. Skilled in Bootstrapping, Business Planning, HR Consulting, Deferred Compensation, CXO, and Executive Search. Strong entrepreneurship professional with a Bachelor of Engineering focused in Industrial Engineering from M.S. University of Baroda.
Kamal Madaan, Manager, Aventus Partners
(Volunteering in a personal Capacity)