Today we distributed rations in APR Labour Shed (Bellandur) for the second time to 420 people. These are large groups of migrant families working on construction. We also distributed 200 coupons in two different localities.
We have also been getting phone calls from various small groups stuck in hotspots and far away from our area of work. Now the calls are coming directly from the people in distress- earlier it was through some middle-class do-gooder like us. We sent them about 300 rupees per person online. We send between Rs.1000 to Rs.2000 to small groups of labour migrants like this. There is no other way of dealing efficiently with this as the number of volunteers we have is very low, and the time and cost of diesel etc. is not worth it when we are anyway busy serving larger number of people in our areas of work. We also distributed chocolates (each costs 50 paise) to small kids. We had to give a second round 15 minutes later as many came running afterwards. The ones who got it first round smiled and said “we have already got it - nanage kottidde”. Something to learn perhaps. Today we paid yesterday’s bills for coupons given to 350 families – about Rs.81,000. We also subsidized the cost of peanuts that another NGO in North Bangalore called Whitefield Rising Trust bought for giving proteins to people. We also bought 500 kg of groundnuts for our own distribution. They have 28% protein, (and also have zero cholesterol and transfatty acids.
We are toying with the idea of providing radish (mooli or mullangi) and carrot which are very low priced at less than Rs.20/kg. Someone pointed out that people have not eaten vegetables for a month. It’s the logistics that is holding us back. Though tomatoes are available cheap,transporting them with 50kg bags of rice and dal in a relatively small SUV or OMNI is not possible. Milk distribution will continue for children under 10. One round has been done with coupons for 5 days.
Thanks once again for everyone’s kind help. Our estimate is that we would have covered more than 8,000 persons by now with 4.5 volunteers – but we only give dry rations, and that too only enough rice and dal for a week and 500 gm of oil. We repeat when required.
Beyond Bangalore: APPI is supporting our work with the Primitive Vulnerable tribal Group (PTVG) in Utnoor, Adilabad where we have distributed rations to around 317 families covering around 10 villages.
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