NEW DELHI: A group of four women, working for education and skill development of underprivileged students and youth, have taken the responsibility to feed about 100 families, living along railway track near Daya Basti in Central Delhi, since the lockdown was announced.
Initially, atleast eight volunteers were helping in cooking and food distribution programme. However, due to strict enforcement of lockdown, only four women — Summaiya Afreen (29), Minakshi Thakur (29), Preeti Mittal (28) and Rinju Shah are managing the feeding initiative now.
At present, they distribute 3,000 food packets every day in Daya Basti, Shadipur, Tank Road, and Nehru Nagar area of Central Delhi. As funds are drying up, they have engaged 10-12 housewives of Karol Bagh area, who have volunteered to cook food for Lakshya Jeevan Jagriti (LJJ). They have also encouraged about 150 students, enrolled in various programmes run by their non-profit organisation to attend online classes initiated during restrictions.
“When we asked parents to send their children to join online classes, their reply was that their priority is food not mobile phone internet recharge during lockdown. Students long absence could lead to waning of their interest in training being given to them. So, we assume responsibility to provide them food. We started with 100 families. When the team stepped out and saw people struggling for food, we began to give food to more families,” said Rinju Shah, co-founder and director of LJJ, a NGO found in 2009 by Rahul Goswami.
“Our biggest concern, at present, is funding. Somehow, we have been managing food distribution for about a month with the help of individuals and organisations. We have almost spent all our savings and capital. We now need support of people. To save money, housewives, who are registered with us for literacy programme, are cooking for us at community kitchens,” said Shah.
150 students enroll for online classes
The four girls have encouraged about 150 students, enrolled in various programmes run by their non-profit organisation to attend online classes initiated during restrictions.