Published: 29th March 2020
This BCom student in Azamgarh is picking up food from homes and giving it to the hungry, during lockdown
Three days ago, Abdur, a second year BCom student and the Students' Union President of Shibli National College asked people on Facebook to contact him if they were struggling for food
When news of the lockdown spread across Azamgarh, college student Abdur Rahman knew there would be lakhs of people who would be going hungry to bed for the next few days. but he was only a college student, there was not much that he could do. Except maybe distribute it to the locals around his area. So, that's what he did.
Three days ago, Abdur, a second year BCom student and the Students' Union President of Shibli National College put up a status on Facebook asking people who were facing difficulties to get food to contact him so he could try to take food to them. "I just spoke to a few people that I knew and asked if they had any extra provisions that they would like to donate. So I went to their homes and picked up the material and distributing it to those who need it. The Masjid is also contributing food so I volunteered," he explained.
Once it got out there, the calls started to pour in. "I shared my number on Facebook so people can now get in touch with me and I can go to their house and pick up the materials," he adds. "We cannot forget the daily wage earners at this point, they have no alternatives. Which is why it is important that we at this point respond to the issue as soon as possible," the student tells us.
Like Abdur, several other students are all setting up food banks and also distributing food material. Different students have taken over different parts of the region and are coordinating, Students from Aligarh Muslim University have also initiated a drive to distribute materials, "Starting immediately, the team members procured essential supplies from faraway stores, and provided them to more than 40 families of domestic helps, rickshaw pullers, labourers, and other people residing at the slums near Abdullah Hall, before the lockdown began at midnight. The complete list of the people helped tonight, with the number of packets distributed, is also given alongside," an AMU student wrote.
While some people complain about not being able to work out or running out of snacks or TV shows to watch, the underprivileged continue to struggle for even the bare minimum. The students acknowledge this, "We hope to help much more people throughout Aligarh, and seek your support by any means possible for the same. We also request other NGOs and social activists working on the ground to update each other over the areas they cover and the people they help, so that resources are distributed to as many people as possible. In this trying time, it is our responsibility to ensure everyone survives, not just the privileged."
When asked if he was worried about being exposed to the virus and getting affected, Abdur said he maintained all the precautions possible. He was wearing a mask and leaving the food outside the homes and picking it up from outside as well. "There are people who might not be able to travel to the market as well. So this is to help them too," he adds.