Published: 07th May 2020
COVID relief: IIT Gandhinagar is recharging the phones of migrant labourers, helping them stay in touch with families
The institute also joined hands with the Central Public Works Department and kickstarted a series of relief measures for the labourers
Gujarat is undoubtedly one of the worst COVID-hit states in the country, with more than 6,000 confirmed cases. The migrant labourers are obviously the worst hit by this. So, in order to help them out, IIT Gandhinagar, along with the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) launched a series of welfare measures, which includes recharging their phones and providing free medical aid. They also recently kickstarted a fundraising campaign for the labourers.
Explaining the way the fundraiser works, Gaurav Srivastava, Dean (Campus Development), IIT Gandhinagar says, "The fundraiser is entirely online through IITGN's donations page and each donation is acknowledged with an email to the donor with all the details about the donation. All the donations regarding this cause are received in a separate category for workers' welfare and community outreach. For every rupee of donation received in this regard, we will match the amount to double the donation. Through this initiative, we have started providing support to labourers in different forms — mobile recharge is one such mechanism. We are also working to educate and help the construction workers to fight against the Coronavirus pandemic."
He adds that a lot of migrant labourers were finding it difficult to keep in touch with their family and that was how the idea of recharging the phones occurred. "In today's time, mobiles have become the primary tool for communication. It bears even more important when one is away from the family and loved ones in a crisis-like situation," he says.
Apart from this, the institute also distributed cloth masks, made with the help of locally trained village women, to the construction workers. "The labour colonies and frequently-touched surfaces are regularly disinfected. The institute ensures that soaps and water are available in toilets and washbasins of these colonies at all times. Hand wash has also been placed in labour camps at various places," adds Srivastava.