Thiruvananthapuram-based couple Merin Mathew and Kevin Simon had been wedding planners for 16 years until the pandemic struck. The business suffered on a large scale and eventually, they were out of work. Around the time, many home delivery services were suspended causing difficulties for senior citizens who didn’t have access to essential items.
The duo realised that many people were stuck due to the sudden lockdown and needed urgent help with medicines and essentials. "During the Kerala flood in 2018, we had provided groceries and medicines to victims. We decided to do the same and deliver groceries, ration and medicines at people’s doorsteps," says Merin.
They posted their decision on Facebook urging people across the state to approach them without any hesitation. Little did they imagine that their small Facebook post would usher a widespread response. "We didn’t expect such a huge response. People across the state started calling us for essential commodities round the clock. Initially, we catered only to the residents in Thiruvananthapuram. Besides delivering essential commodities, we also started setting up quarantine homes," says Merin.
The couple gathered resources to purchase and deliver priority items such as medicines and newborn care products, thereby catering to almost 25 houses daily in the capital city. Around 2,500 masks were stitched and distributed to public workers and the destitute.
The duo has now begun to cater to other districts such as Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad and has so far helped over 600 families. From delivering essential commodities to people in quarantine or COVID-19 positive patients at hospitals such as KIMS, services were provided immediately.
From researching and finding out the availability of a seizure medicine which was available with a person in Malappuram and then bringing it to the patient in Thiruvananthapuram to delivering a packet of diapers to a family in Ernakulam, the couple left no stone unturned to help those in need. What started as a service has now become a way of life for Merin and Kevin who have now named their venture 'Cartwheel Delivery Services', providing services at a minimal expense.