In these tough times, some of us are fortunate to have a roof over our heads and food on the table. This isn’t the case for many others. The worst hit have been migrant labourers who are largely daily wage earners. The pain and suffering they have gone through since the start of the lockdown is unimaginable and continues to affect them although the media may have chosen not to highlight the struggles as much anymore.
The lockdown and lack of any income has forced migrant labourers to walk miles on foot to return to their villages. The tragic death of 16 migrant workers when a goods train ran over them in Aurangabad while they were sleeping on the tracks is only one example of their desperation and distress.
Many have come forward and stepped up their humanitarian efforts to provide food, lodging and other support to these migrant families. We believe it is as much our responsibility to help, support and share with people who are less fortunate.
Our Project (includes feeding and sourcing)
To implement this initiative, some of us, alumni from the ILS Law School, Pune, have come together and partnered with Goonj (https://goonj.org/), a highly reputed not for profit organisation to support migrants stranded in cities and those enroute to their villages, with access to basic consumables, like food and hygiene products. Since we all share a common past (that started at ILS,Pune), we thought it would be a good idea to initiate our efforts in Pune and surrounding villages in Maharashtra that are underserved.
The “Goonj Rahat Covid - ILS Alumni” is a voluntary initiative driven by alumni of ILS Law School, Pune in association with Goonj to raise INR 10,00,000 (Ten Lakhs), which will provide 670 family units with a basic amenity kit. This amenity kit will provide a family of 5 to 6 members, 12 to 18 kgs of dry ration, toiletries, other house hold material, etc. In addition, the initiative will also support local farmers in and around Pune (who have also been affected by the lockdown) by purchasing vegetables and food supplies from them. Goonj will localise their efforts in Talegaon, Kondhwa East, Sawargoad, Kule, Nandgaon, Sathesai, Kolwan, Kashi, Poud village, Mulshi Block, etc. This is only indicative and Goonj will work across the Pune suburban region to provide relief and humanitarian support to those in need.
We have gathered significant commitments and momentum across our alumni groups to support and contribute to the fund raising efforts and hope to be able to reach the 10 lakh funding goal with all your collective help. We are working with MILAAP (www.milaap.org) to run the campaign and coordinate the crowd funding effort professionally and more efficiently. While MILAAP and Goonj will not charge us any additional fees for this initiative, there are payment gateway charges for the fund transfers (UPI = 0.5%, Debit card- 1%, CC/NB = 2.1%, Intl CC - 2.9%).
The campaign will be open from 13th July 2020 until 23rd July 2020. If we are able to collect in excess of 10 Lakhs (with another 1 lakh to defray administrative costs), we will close this project and channelise the additional funds into a new project for future needs relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, as decided by the core alumni members of this initiative (as mentioned below) and keeping the alumni in the loop.
Please contact Delano Furtado, Kosturi Ghosh, Mihir Rale, Vaibhav Gaggar or Praveen Raju (being the core alumni members of this initiative) at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further information about this project and initiatives.
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson