Past couple of months brought a different reality into focus, a miserable world of an ongoing pandemic. Covid-19 indiscriminately affected anyone coming in contact with the virus, rich and poor alike.
It drove a greater divide between the privileged and non-privileged as many lacking in the financial means such as daily wage earners, below poverty line families and dependent older population, among others began to lose their source of livelihood and sustenance.
Help poured in from different corners. Not just government, and NGOs, individuals from different walks of life came forward. Senior citizens ageing above 70 made protective masks with their weary hands and arranged meals with their limited resources, some people arranged conveyance for migrant labourers on their journey back home while donations showered in towards different causes. But owing to India’s enormous population, many still remained deprived.
As such we have compiled a list of simple ways everyone can help those in need without stepping outside their homes. Your contributions however minor can help someone get by for another day so tomorrow someone else like you takes over. It keeps the chain flowing assisting those afflicted to get back on their feet.
Listed below are 8 ways to help the needy amidst Covid-19 without stepping a foot outside your home.
1. Contribute to funds –
As obvious as it sounds, monetary donations make up for the best contributions. The fruitfulness of these donations can be assessed from the massive success of PM-CARES Fund as it was recently reported that the funding trust was set to allocate Rs 3100 crore in the fight against Covid-19. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed the citizens to contribute under this funding initiative in any capacity.
Similarly, many NGOs are providing medical supplies, meals and accommodation facilities. For example, highly renowned Goonj and Akshaya Patra Foundation recently made news for providing food to lakhs and lakhs of underprivileged stuck in Covid-19.
Monetary assistance into right hands help resources reach grassroot level. They can be easily done through digital platforms of UPI, debit/credit card, net banking and the like. The key here being selecting a legitimate source which is a trusted name.
2. Food donations –
In many cities, special drives like ‘Roti campaign’ were made where volunteers or government authorities walked door to door to collect food items such as chapatti, rice, veggies, etc and took them straight to the needy. NGOs like Mumbai Roti Bank Foundation fed thousands of hungry people, serving meals to hundreds each day.
3. Help connect needy with the volunteers –
Sociologically speaking, a technological and cultural gap usually accompanies those of income. Many underprivileged folks in remote areas and even otherwise remain unaware of the facilities set aside for their benefit.
At personal level, people can start out by informing their domestic help of the various initiatives and provide their contact numbers. A lot of mistrust runs through their head over possible exploitation owing to lack of awareness, coming from a reliable source, they are more likely to act on the advice.
Similarly, volunteers urging others to connect them with those in need over social media and other means can be helped in reaching the right people to enhance the effectivity of these programmes. Coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected many dependent senior citizens who are staying alone.
They have been running short on supplies being unable to frequently head out. On top of that, many of them aren’t tech savvy knocking online deliveries out as an alternative. Volunteers must be brought in contact with them wherever possible.
4. Go easy on food shopping –
Where there were no monetary constraints, many citizens went into frenzy buying of groceries in the wake of lockdown which was termed as panic buying. Consequently, food items went out of stock, both online and offline. With easing of lockdown norms, panic buying slowed down but in came cooking obsession. Suddenly, experimenting with recipes became the most sought-after hobby to kill off monotony. At first it was interesting, later a competitiveness took over and once again the stock of grocery items fell short due to the collective indulgence in cooking.
Citizens can do so much simply by not bulk buying especially unnecessarily so that food can be made available to all.
5. Pay salaries –
This pertains to household level, whether one has employed a cook, driver, domestic help, etc. Do not refrain from paying them salaries even if their services cannot be availed currently. As per news, many families are holding salaries or cancelling them which is quite heart-breaking. With their meagre earnings, there is hardly any savings on their part. Not being able to acquire monthly salaries would render them hungry and penniless, adding further to the nation’s woes.
5. Don’t exploit your employer –
Employees in the organised sector witnessed a massive surge in work from home with the onset of lockdown. While most employees remained professional and ensured efficiency amidst the given circumstances. Some apparently took it as a vacation, escaping their responsibilities with workload finally getting dumped on the rest of their team. It is essential to understand that the world is battling with a severe economic crisis, operations have been insanely hit, employers are doing everything in their power to keep their business running. By exploiting one’s employer, one would be further adding to the economic debacle, possibly threatening everyone’s job security.
6. Don’t spread rumours, spread positivity instead –
Nothing worse than circulating posts and messages carrying unchecked facts on social media. It ensues panic. Imagine being stuck alone and coming across a misleading text like breathing in fresh air gets one infected! As preposterous as that it, for someone lonely and fearful of the virus, it can be potentially harmful.
Perhaps one of the simplest ways a person could do a social service other than refraining from disseminating rumours is by spreading some positivity across. Covid-19 has given way to solitude and loneliness as well as affecting mental health.
Upbeat and lively messages from leaders, public figures and celebrities have taken the mass media by storm to lift dampened spirts. Muskurayega India, Recreation of Dil Chahta Hai by iconic Shankar Mahadevan (proceeds of which will go for Corona relief work), Hum Haar Nahi Maanenge are just some songs released to boost positivity and hopefulness in people. Apart from them, a sea of similar motivating content is all over the web.
By dispelling rumours and posting hope enhancing messages, individuals can help people fight this war with more strength.
7. Create awareness –
In line with awareness posts doing rounds on mass media, people can play equal part at personal level in beating the curve of Covid-19 by giving appropriate knowledge pertaining to the same.
8. Don’t discriminate –
Painfully heartless of some residents discriminating against health care workers and those employed in essential services. Heartless move in every sense possible as these forces have been working day in and day out to keep the country running and people healthy, despite a lockdown in an ongoing pandemic. Some recovering patients have also endured the brunt of this discrimination. Staying alert while social distancing does not mean one has to stoop down to insensitive levels. The situation is such that it demands joint efforts from individuals and frontline workers alike to bounce back from this nightmare.
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