Aditya Singh, 31, a financial consultant, had come across scores of netizens discussing the severe drought in the state, but wanted to go beyond social media forums to support the cause.
“When I learned that NGO Ek Aur Prayaas and was calling for volunteers through Twitter, I got in touch with them,” said Singh, a Kalyan resident, who will be part of a team that will visit drought-affected areas in mid-April. “I have been staying in the state for thirty years, and I should offer help at a time when the state is suffering,” he said.
Several Mumbaiites are opting to go beyond sympathising on social media to join in the actual relief work. “The response frm the city has been good. Twelve people from different age groups have already volunteered to visit the areas. We are expecting more to come along,” said Jaymin Panchal, co-founder, Ek Aur Prayaas.
Volunteers from Mumbai and Pune will visit six drought-affected villages in the state to join in relief work. “I want to help people directly as I don’t believe in monetary donations,” said Aditya Marathe, 27, an IT consultant from Vashi, who has also volunteered.
The volunteers will assist members of Jankalyan Samiti, the social service wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which is undertaking drought-relief work in 125 villages across 12 districts in the state.
“We need volunteers particularly to help organise the people who gather to collect water from tankers in large numbers. We also want to regulate donations,” said Chandan Katariya, treasurer, Jankalyan Samiti.
With people discussing the drought on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, the cause has received attention in other countries as well. “We have received donations from the United States and Japan over the last few days,” said Katariya.
To volunteer to visit drought-affected areas, you can contact the organisation on firstname.lastname@example.org