Bangalore: With Unlock 2.0 in place and the whole country trying to adapt to the new normal, there is a dire need to handhold lakhs of the migrant population who undertook the mass exodus from Tier-I cities to their villages. Despite the lockdown being lifted, these vulnerable groups have not been able to adapt to the new normal and restart their livelihood. They are still struggling to meet their basic needs of food. Rise Against Hunger India (RAHI), a renowned NGO based out of Bengaluru has been tirelessly supporting these vulnerable group over the past 4 months with meals across the country. RAHI has served 2.5 million meals till date to these vulnerable groups in 38 Districts spread across 9 States in India. Out of this, nearly 85% of the meals were provided to the migrant population which was the worst-hit due to COVID-19 & the subsequent lockdown.
Talking about the milestone achievement, Mr. Dola Mohapatra, Executive Director, Rise Against Hunger India said, “Over the last 4 months, our focus has widened to include more vulnerable groups under our meal distribution programme. The early stages of our COVID-19 response were concentrated on the metro cities focussing on the vulnerable community like labour, daily-wagers. However, over the past 6 weeks, we have managed to reach out across 38 districts in 9 states of India to cater to the migrants, who moved back to their villages.”
RAHI along with its strong network of partners & volunteers managed to reach the several districts across Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala & Delhi. In the past 6 weeks over 1.2 million meals have been distributed, out of which close to 75% has outside main metro cities.
“Out of the 2.5 million meals distributed through our COVID-19 response over the last 4 months, nearly 85% have gone to workers who lost their employment during COVID-19 related lockdowns or closures. We were challenged by the logistical and other constraints, but all thanks to our strong network of partners and field volunteers who helped us reach the most vulnerable groups.” added Mr. Mohapatra.
RAHI envisages that continued support will be required in the coming 4-6 months for these migrants who have been the worst-hit.
“Hunger is the biggest enemy for these groups as of today and we need to work towards providing them ample provisions so that they along with their families can have 2 decent meals per day. Due to spike in a number of cases, the uncertainty prevails over when workers will be able to get back to earn a stable income. In these tough times, we need to support them. We would like to appeal to all corporate groups, large business houses and other organisations who wish to contribute to come forward and help in providing basic food to these people and prevent them from succumbing to hunger.”, Mr Mohapatra added.
Apart from food, RAHI is also planning to mobilize essentials like cooking oil, spices, masks etc. which can be utilized by these people.