Diwali with a difference: NGO runs campaign to help marginalised people
In keeping with the spirit of the festive season, a Pune-based non-government organisation (NGO) is running a pan-India initiative by distributing “Diwali happiness kits” that include groceries and hygiene essentials. Apart from this, it is also procuring material from local businesses.
The Mukul Madhav Foundation is reaching out to over 3,00,000 marginalised people across 24 states. The kits, being distributed this week, include rice, flour, semolina, tea powder, pulses, gram flour, sugar, poha, spices, soap, biscuits, edible oil, sanitary napkins, mask, and festive decorations. The foundation has been working with marginalised communities to provide better healthcare and educational facilities.
“The products have been procured from over 120 small scale local businesses, micro-entrepreneurs, self-help groups and foundations engaged in skill development,” Ritu Prakash Chhabria, managing trustee of the foundation said.
For instance, the foundation has included diyas (earthen lamps) made by differently-abled students of the ADAPT, a foundation that works with the students in Mumbai. It has also procured masks from the Sharda Social Welfare Trust in Gujarat. The trust has been involved with specially-abled women and children. The foundation has also procured groceries from a kisan sanghatana in Madhya Pradesh and sanitary napkins from a women’s self help group.
In Maharashtra, the foundation has distributed 17,000 kits so far and is looking at distributing 20,650 kits in total. Each kit costs about Rs 1,000 and will support a family for 21 days. The foundation is looking at distributing 70,000 kits across India.
Chhabira also said that the initiative is being funded by corporates like CavinKare, Finolex Industries Ltd, Marico, Hinduja Foundation, Nestle, Indorama, IndusInd Bank, SBI Foundation and others.