Published: 25th April 2020
Thoda Bahut, anyone? This platform is linking donors and people who need help. Here's how
Started by CEO of Manthan Atul Jalan and other like-minded individuals who joined in the efforts, Thoda Bahut is their bit to direct donations towards those who really need them in Karnataka
The strength of the community can never be undermined. The lockdown has brought to the fore many examples that prove the above statement right. Thoda Bahut is one such example. "This is the time we need to stand as a community and stand for each other," says Atul Jalan, CEO, Manthan, serial entrepreneur and author who has now turned mediator between donors and the needy via the platform Thoda Bahut.
This is an open platform which means that any community can make it their own and start one in their own city. "Unless we develop a vaccine, this cat and mouse game of finding the right balance between life and livelihood is not going to stop anytime soon and we might be in and out of lockdowns for a few months," says Jalan, which is why he got together with other like-minded individuals to start Thoda Bahut, which in Hindi means 'little bit'. "I chose the name very thoughtfully. Even if you can donate a little bit, it could go a long way in helping those in need in Bengaluru," he says.
Handing over face shields | (Pic: Thoda Bahut)
The beginning of something new
When the lockdown was implemented, Jalan thought to himself, 'I can afford to be in lockdown. But how long can the needy hold their hunger?' Instead of them ending up on the streets demanding to go home or go to work and putting not only themselves and each other's safety at risk, the lockdown needed to work equally for everyone. So, upon following the news and brainstorming, they decided to focus on three communities of people — auto drivers, healthcare professionals and the police. The auto drivers fall under the daily wage labourers category and since healthcare professionals and police are frontline workers, who Jalan refers to "frontline soldiers", they need all the help they can get to execute their work well. "Rather than doing too many things and ending up being too little too late for everyone, we wanted to focus on these three categories," he explains and adds that he wants to make a meaningful difference.
Using the face shields | (Pic: Thoda Bahut)
All their work
Through his own network, Jalan got in touch with four to five auto unions and started talks with them. They found out from these unions the list of auto drivers and their account numbers so that all the donations they receive can be directly transferred to the account of the auto drivers. They transfer Rs 1,000 to every auto driver and they have discovered that it lasts a family of four for a month. They also supply face shields and PPE kits to healthcare professionals and doctors. They 3D print their face shields from two sources — SSS Springs and Fracktal Works. Jalan called for volunteers through Manthan and it is these volunteers who help them distribute these face shields and PPE kits. As many as 1,000 face shields to Vaatsalya Hospital in Mysuru on April 11; 2,000 face shields to Bangalore City Police; 1,000 of them to Mysore Medical College And Research Institute — this is their current track record. They have raised Rs 30 lakh so far and want to do a lot more to help out. They have figured out the supply chain and it is working for them. If the donations keep pouring in, they might be able to help out other communities as well.
"I am touched by the selfless volunteers who have opted to help us out," says Jalan and adds, "Can you imagine a city life without police, hospitals or auto drivers? No one can. Which is why now is the time for us to step up and donate," he encourages.
For more on them check out thodabahut.org