In these trying times, volunteers are no less than angels
Hundreds of volunteers in Ludhiana are working overtime to ensure poor and needy get proper supply of grocery, vegetables and medicinesUpdated: Mar 30, 2020 22:28 IST
A number of food manufacturing companies, non-government organisations (NGOs) and hundreds of other volunteers in this financial capital of the state, having around 20 lakh migrants, are working overtime to ensure that the poor and needy get proper supply of grocery, vegetables and medicines in these trying times. From distributing medicine kits and grocery items to organising langars in gurdwaras, these good Samaritans are being viewed no less than angels.
With curfew imposed in the state for the last eight days, residents have been deprived of the regular supply of grocery items and vegetables. A list of karyana stores and vegetable vendors has been issued by the administration for home delivery, but the system has collapsed due to a huge demand and poor supply. Moreover, grocery store owners, flooded with approximately 500 calls a day, are not equipped with the required number of workers to meet the demand. The poor and the downtrodden are the worst sufferers.
24-year-old chartered accountant Anirudh Sahi, who runs an NGO, Feeding India, has no time to spare as he is busy packing kits for distribution in the vehras where a majority of migrants working in factories reside in small and dingy rooms. Prior to this, Sahi used to distribute leftover food collected from restaurants among the poor.
“Two days ago, I distributed 10 such kits, today the demand has gone up to 100. I am receiving orders on phone from all corners of the city,” he said. Each of his kits contains wheat flour, rice and pulses enough to feed a family of four for ten days. “There are people donating extensively and approaching us. With curfew imposed, there is a problem of supply, but we are doing all we can.”
Wearing masks and gloves all the time, these volunteers are also ensuring social distancing and sensitising the people about coronavirus.
The NGO, Ek Noor Seva Kendra, with its fleet of seven vehicles and a special mini-bus, is catering to provide food and medicines to 5,000 residents across the city on a daily basis.
“We have a langar hall called ‘Neki ki Rasoi’, where food is prepared. The items include daal, kadi, rice and chapatis. Our team of 4,000 volunteers serve the food at various places,” says supervisor Hari Om Jain.
With Ludhiana being the hub of bread industry in the region, Bonn Group of Industries has so far donated 32,000 packets of bread and burger to a gurdwara in the Gill constituency. The company also distributed 40 packets of bread to a bunch of kids suffering from illness and living away from homes, residing in IP Extension, New Delhi.
Similarly, gurdwaras across the city are busy serving langars on a daily basis to cops and the public alike.
President of the Dukhniwaran Gurdwara Management Committee Pritpal Singh Pali said the committee is serving langar in different parts of the city, including Dugri, Haibowal, Rahon Road among other areas. Langar is being served at every point from where they are getting calls that residents are stranded and needed food.
A group of 12 friends in the city have contributed their savings to the cause and are distributing grocery items to the poor.
Vijay Agnihotri, a property dealer, said they are distributing food packets containing pulses and wheat flour among migrants in Giaspura, Dhandari and Shimlapuri.