Published: 03rd April 2020
COVID-19: You can now contribute food to daily wage, migrant workers through Safa Society's Youth Feed India campaign
Safa Society's initiative called Youth Feed India is a fundraising campaign to provide packets of dry ration to the poor across cities in India, who are the most affected by the lockdown
Due to the complete lockdown across the country, the most affected have been the daily wage workers who are without work or government support and therefore are unable to be providers for their homes. The situation has gotten worse in the past few days as these workers walked hundreds of kilometres without water or food to reach their villages — at least 17 of the migrant workers and their kin have died due to lack of these basic supplies. Things might get worse as the lockdown doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon. However, this non-profit based in Hyderabad is doing the needful to help these hungry Indians.
Safa Society's initiative called Youth Feed India is a fundraising campaign to provide packets of dry ration to the daily wage workers, homeless, migrant labourers and the poor in Hyderabad as well as five other cities across the country. "We at Safa along with a group of young volunteers began this fundraising campaign on Ketto a day before the janta curfew was announced on March 22. We began work from then in Hyderabad first and then added on cities — Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Gurgaon," says Rubina Nafiz Fathima, founder of the NGO.
The organisation is procuring supplies from wholesalers at a cheaper rate, then each city has a city chapter consisting of local volunteers led by one of the members of Safa. Then each city has a purchasing committee, who is in charge of procuring the items from a legitimate vendor. The Safa members communicate and connect with local NGOs and fix the ground delivery partners and Safa provides necessary training and briefing to the volunteers. Once confirmed the delivery partners then pick up material from the wholesaler and do a door-to-door delivery distribution of packages. The delivery agent has the discretion to drop more than one pack to a larger family based on ground conditions. "The delivery volunteers must adhere strictly to all procedures and protocols of hygiene and take necessary precautions. We have made sure that photographs and videos of the delivery are shared instantly with city chapter heads who must share them with the communications team," explains Rubina. She adds that the validation of the NGOs is being done centrally from Safa and the funds also they are receiving through the Safa bank account in Hyderabad.
What does the pack of ration would ideally consist?
2 Kg Wheat Atta
1 Kg Rice
1 Kg Onion
1⁄2 Kg Oil
1⁄2 Kg Sugar
100 gm Tea Powder
1 Kg Tur Dal / Arhar/ Chana
200 gm Red Chilli Powder
100 gm Haldi
1⁄2 Kg Salt Packet
1 Kg Washing Powder
Each pack is procured at a cost in the range of Rs.450 to 500/- and would last a family of four for 3-4 days. The contents of the pack may be locally customised to suit dietary preferences of location.
Safa is also collaborating with the postal services in cities who are offering their packaging and trucks to them. "We had a problem in getting transport in the initial days due to the lockdown. Safety protocol for distribution validated by the government is being followed everywhere," says Rubina. Several celebrities and sports personalities such as Sania Mirza, Farah Khan, Shriya Saran and more have endorsed their campaign. IIM alumni across India have also begun raising funds for the upcoming weeks, adds Rubina. Currently, the team is in phase two of distribution and confident that they will soon be able to start phase three as the funds come in. "Safa already has 140 members and we are also engaging local volunteers for smooth functioning. We are setting up warehouses in cities and mapping volunteers nearby who can easily commute and help us with the distribution," adds Rubina.
Safa will be employing a volunteer management app soon with the help of which collaboration and smooth distribution will become easier. The app called BUILDtheWorld Platform has been founded by an Indian School of Business alumni Sahil Mittal.
To donate: ketto.org/fundraiser/
Target Funds to be Raised – Rs. 25,00,000 - Fund Raising Complete
Hyderabad – 2500 packs
North Karnataka – 500 packs
Bengaluru – 1000 packs
Chennai – 1000 packs
Target Funds to be Raised – Rs. 50,00,000 - Fund Raising Complete
Hyderabad – 2000 packs
Bengaluru – 2000 packs
Chennai – 2000 packs
Mumbai – 2000 packs
Delhi – 1000 packs
Gurgaon – 1000 packs
Target Funds to be Raised – To be Decided - Not Started