With COVID-19 raging in India again, families in the community have echoed their needs to us again. This fundraiser is a response to this need that we are hearing. We plan to raise Rs. 7.5 lakhs (USD 10,000) to distribute food and sanitary care packets, help people in dire need pay for their children's school tuition fees, and cover the cost of essential medicines for high-need individuals.
Each care packet will cost Rs. 800 (USD 11) and will contain 5 kgs rice, 5 kgs flour, 2 kg lentils, 1 kg sugar, 1-liter cooking oil, 4 bars of soaps, and menstrual hygiene products (1 kg = 2.2 pounds).
The tuition fee for a student for a year is ~Rs. 10,000 (USD 140).
The average cost of medicines for each prescription that we covered last year was Rs. 2,000 (USD 28).
We aim to help ~500 families with food and sanitary care packages, help with the tuition fees of 10-15 students whose families are in high need, and help individuals with medicine costs with the rest of the money.
Our decision to buy local resulted in an overhead charge of only 2.7% last year. An Indiana University professor has agreed to cover our overhead costs so 100% of all contributions will reach the people of Shivajinagar.
For transparency, we will ask each participating family to share their name, phone number, designation, number of people in the family, and submit a copy of a photo id for our record keeping. We will upload the information on a drive that we will share with all the donors.
I (Animesh) am a development sector worker who currently works as an education consultant with an international non-profit organization. I have an MPA from O'Neill at Indiana Bloomington and have worked in the education sector for almost 10 years as a teacher, administrator, and in policy research.
Picture from Animesh's first month of teaching in Shivajinagar when rains flooded the school
If you can, please consider donating to our cause by pressing the 'Donate Now' button. Every little amount matters. You can help us help families in Shivajinagar in need. Please do share this fundraiser with your contacts. Do reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
I first visited Shivajinagar, one of the biggest slums in India in the summer of 2011 when I was assigned to my school there for my two-year teaching Fellowship. Shivajinagar is a one-of-a-kind place. It is home to one of the biggest landfills in Asia, a mountain we could see from outside our school more than a kilometer away, and has a Human Development Index of 0.05. Around two-thirds of the families in Shivajinagar have a monthly family income of less than Rs. 10,000 (USD 140). The open drains and landfill bring about hosts of diseases that are a contributing factor to the average life expectancy of 38 years.
When COVID-19 hit India in March last year, the county was put under intense lockdown for over two months. This pause in the economic activities hit migrant communities like Shivajinagar hard where families living paycheck to paycheck had to dip into their meager savings to survive. The little job recovery from earlier this year was erased by the intense second wave of COVID-19 that has led to the loss of innumerable lives and prompted another lockdown with a complete stop to economic activities. We have had multiple members of the community reach out to us stating their immediate needs. With their meager savings gone, they are relying on our help to get through these difficult times.
What we did in 2020