On site, we first find out what the situation is. Whether the Government or any other donor have given them anything. Whether their employer is giving something. Whether they have rations at home. Whether they have money at home so that they can go and buy from nearby shops. We surprisingly found that people are truthful – if you ask a few of them – they tell you if in fact they have got something. We give only where there is a need. We perhaps make both types of errors – leaving out a few deserving spots and giving to some not so deserving ones. But that probably is rare. We are more careful about not leaving out anyone. But first a remarkable story: https://indianexpress.com/article/facebook-stories-of-strength-2020/covid-19- fighters/they-are-just-like-me-cart-puller-spends-life-savings-to-serve-the-hungry- 6389359/utm_source=izooto&utm_medium=push_notifications&utm_campaign=Cart&utm_content=&utm_term= . This cart puller spent more than Rs.8,000 of his Rs.20,000 total.
savings to distribute food to other poor people. And still going strong. We have gone daily as usual, sometimes twice or even thrice a day and distributed rations. Now another three Police constables – Thulasi, Babu and two more also join us in two different locations. We have found a link with one more small group of
volunteers in the MG Road area. Our second lot of rice from the FCI is exhausted – we got 7 tons from there so far. We have distributed much more from the local traders. A more macro , perspective of Bangalore There are at least two or three other large organizations that have apparently distributed food worth more than Rs.1.5 crores each. Our thanks and salutations to them. But they are not active in the areas of our work. And the need is large. We have also started distributing milk coupons as there are many small kids less than 5 in some locations.
Our approach consists of: 1. Direct distribution of rice, dal and occasionally 500 ml of cooking oil 2. Distribution of food coupons of rice and dal which are redeemed at nearby stores 3. Distribution of milk coupons 4. Supporting other migrants referred by other NGOs after due diligence. 5. Supporting other volunteers who want to do some field work. Three more have joined and started some distribution in Central Bangalore. From March 30 th to May 2 nd , we have distributed abut Rs.14.4 lakhs worth of food. Longer term unknowns: Many migrants are being permitted to leave, with some process of verification. A few trains have in fact left. But many are still here saying they don’t have money to pay. One announcement says they have to pay quite a premium- more than Rs.600 or more than Rs.1000 per person. Another news item says some political parties are paying for the train and bus fares. Even if the migrants go, what will happen to them when they reach home is unknown. Will there be enough for them back in their native villages and States? We did check. We get conflicting reports. One says the State Government in one State is providing ample rations. Another says while that is true it is only rice in a non-rice eating population and nothing else. We are regularly monitoring the situation to the best of our ability.
Thanks once again.
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