"Looking out from my window, I could see the sun rising from the horizon. I could hear the birds chirping. I could feel the moist air touching my skin. I am lucky to be at home." - Said by no migrant worker.
Corona hasn't impacted everyone equally. While some are happy to be working from home, many have been exposed to unprecedented hardships. Those impacted the most due to corona come from the society's most vulnerable section that is also economically challenged. While we have still been ordering our food and groceries from Swiggy and Zomato, these millions of migrant workers have been stuck in their shells without any income, without basic necessities and without any transport facilities to get them back to their villages.
Over the last few days, we have witnessed millions of migrant workers who have embarked on a "long walk" (some are even barefoot), and are trying to get back to their homes. All they have is the willpower to get back to their homes to feed their families, but they have very little or no support in terms of food, transport & rehabilitation. It is for the first time that these migrant workers are shouting for support; and this is our chance where we can support them to get back to their homes to feed their family.
While most of us cannot ourselves directly support these migrant workers due to the lockdown, there are three organizations that we know that are doing phenomenal work in this direction. They are working 24/7 to support these migrant workers, and have invited us to support them in this noble cause by contributing towards it. We feel this is a great opportunity for us to help the migrant workers by contributing to Goonj, CoAST, and Project Mumbai - please note that your contributions shall be eligible for tax exemption under section 80G.Brief about the benefiting NGOs:1) CoAST: Network of NGOs focused on migrant transportation
A large number of migrant labour in the country are on the walk - to reach back to their homes. CoAST (Covid Action Support Team) is working to ensure they can reach home safely and helping arrange transportation for them. CoAST is a collaboration of 200+ civil society organisations who are working to ensure that citizens (migrants and vulnerable populations) are able to receive help & relief during the COVID-19 lockdown and thereafter. Besides addressing immediate relief, the CoAST grew into a GIS enabled tech platform https://coastindia.org/
The founders of CoAST come from Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives, Azim Premji University (APU), Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), E-Health Research Centre IIIT Bangalore to name a few.
Funds raised would be used directly towards transportation needs of migrant workers.
2) Project Mumbai: Distribution of food kits across highways and transportation of migrants from Mumbai
Project Mumbai has been at the forefront of the pandemic serving over 2.2 million meals to the needy in Mumbai, set up vans for women constables, donated 2 Lakh PPE kits to hospitals , launched a mental counselling toll free number and spearheading efforts to transport individuals who want to go to their homes.
3) GOONJ: Long term rehabilitation of migrant workers
Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non-profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the one of the few non-profits with scale that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones returning from cities.
Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17 states/UT in the last three weeks. To begin with, in Goonj’s processing Centers - its trained team of women is making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.
Let’s come in solidarity & generously contribute to help migrant workers in going back to their home to support their family because karuna (compassion) is more viral than corona…