KALABURAGI: Calling themselves Nalku Chakra, four individuals in Kalaburagi city have been working tirelessly for the major part of last year to help people affected by Covid-19. They have distributed food and masks, created awareness about the disease, and helped police enforce lockdown.
Mala Dannur, Mala Kanni, Kalyan Rao Kanni and Maheshchandra Kanni put together a group of 25 people last April, when the lockdown was imposed. Each member of the group contributed Rs 10,000 then, says Mala Dannur. Initially, participation was enthusiastic, but slowly the number of dedicated volunteers trickled down to six, including the Nalku Chakra.
They helped the municipal administration tackle the pandemic, and aided police personnel attached to Chowk Police Station enforce the lockdown. They distributed food to Covid patients, and distributed 4,000 masks during the first wave. When the second wave began to rear its head, they were back on the frontlines, Mala says.
“Whenever we go to the wholesale market at Nehru Gunj to distribute food kits to hamals (daily wage labourers), we feel bad because they still don’t wear masks and maintain physical distance due to their lack of awareness. At the same time, we feel angry when we see well-read people not wearing masks and not maintaining distance because they are neither bothered about their own health nor that of others,” says Mala, adding that the Kalaburagi Mahanagara Palike has recognised their services.
She says that when cases began cropping up in rural areas last year, they went along with police to convince the people to get admitted to Covid Care Centres. This time too, they visited around 150 poor people who tested positive and were under home isolation, providing meals and delivering medicine given by the government.
Mala Dannur and Mala Kanni are insurance agents with SBI Life Insurance, while Kalyan Rao Kanni and Maheshchandra Kanni are lecturers at Sharanabasava University. They say they are proud to serve people when they were in dire need of food and medicine