Organisations lend helping hand

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Organisations lend helping hand to migrant workers, labourers amid COVID-19 lockdown

(Business Standard, March 27, 2020 by ANI) – Several organisations have come forward to lend a helping hand to migrant workers who found themselves without shelter and food in the wake of 21-day COVID-19 lockdown in the country.

Organisations like Manav Upkar Sanstha and Radha Soami Satsang Beas have tried to arrange food and shelter for daily wage earners and migrant labourers affected by the lockdown.

Some of these workers had to wait for the help of these organisations to have their first proper meal in several days post the lockdown announcement. "For the past three days I have been hungry. Today some volunteers of Manav Upkar Sanstha helped me and several other migrant labourers get food and shelter," Vinod, a migrant worker from Firozabad, said.

The organisation has also established a shelter home at Aligarh for the migrant workers who have been unable to reach their homes in time after the nationwide lockdown was imposed this Tuesday.

"I couldn't go home since the lockdown as all trains were cancelled and buses are not plying on roads. I am staying at the shelter of Manav Upkar Sanstha where adequate arrangements for us have been made," another migrant worker Ankit said.

Speaking on the humanitarian effort being made by the organisation, Visnu Kumar Banti, chief of the Manav Upkar Sanstha, said, "Here, we are providing food and shelter to migrant workers and also to people who have been walking from Delhi and Ghaziabad. Till now we have fed at least 1,000 people."

Another non-government organisation, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, has also started delivering food packets to migrant workers with the help of local administration.

Daily wage labourers, who have been without work for the last few days, are now dependent on these food packets for their survival.

"We have been without food and shelter for several days, the support from Radha Soami Satsang Beas has come a blessing for us," said a labourer who came to Delhi from Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh.

Speaking on the arrangements made by the organisation, Narendra Bhati, a volunteer said, "After we came to know that some people here had no means of arranging food since the lockdown we have tried to create facilities for them. On behalf of our organisation food packets are being distributed to over 10,000 people in nearby areas."

The organisation has also been actively involved in creating awareness regarding the COVID-19 pandemic among the underprivileged classes, Bhati added.