Published: 27th March 2020
This residents' forum from Bengaluru is providing groceries for free to the migrant workers
Rajarajeshwari Nagar Residents Forum has been providing groceries to 5,000 migrant workers families and helping them with masks, sanitisers
When people starve and don't have food to eat, they have no other go but to come out on the streets is what Srikanth VS, a member of Rajarajeshwari Nagar Residents Forum (RRF) believes in and in times like these that puts them at risk more than ever. Therefore, the RRF members have been providing groceries for free to migrant workers, lorry drivers and several others who do small time jobs yet matter a lot to our society. He says, "Starting from March 24, we have been going to different localities in Rajarajeshwari Nagar and provide them all kinds of grocery items including rice, dal, oil, milk powder, millets etc which are required for any common man to cook food for themselves. Since, these families can't afford mask and sanitisers, we provide them with four or five masks and a sanitiser. We also tell them the necessity to use it especially during COVID-19."
In order to ensure that they don't violate the rules issued during lockdown, they have already taken an approval from the police officials. He explains, "We start our day at 6 am and cover over 20 families and finish this activity by 7 am. In an hour, we are back home and we don't go out anywhere. Initially, we thought to cook food and serve it ourselves but there would be chances of mass gathering and this would lead to violating the rules. Therefore, we dropped the idea and decided to give them groceries which can perish for a few days."
Srikanth and his team have identified 5,000 such people in their locality until now. "We prepared the list of these 5,000 workers, their phone numbers and the number of family members. A day before we approach them to provide food, we call them and ask the situation they have been facing. Then we mark the most critical and non-critical cases. And give them groceries on priority," he added.
When we asked them about the money required to buy these groceries, he says, "The funds are provided by the people or they pay directly at the stores. This has helped us in terms of social distancing and keep every one safe from getting infections."
According to Srikanth, RRF is the first organisation of residents in Bengaluru that has started this initiative. He says, "With this initiative having gained a lot of positive responses, a Rotary Club team of Rajaresjwari Nagar have got huge quantity of rice. Now, they have asked us if we can join hands with them in distributing it to the people. Hopefully, we will begin this from tomorrow." Srikanth and his team will continue providing food to the poor until the situation becomes normal. Currently, they want to complete distributing food to all the 5,000 families.