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COVID times: Hyderabad rises to help needy; more to be done

COVID times: Hyderabad rises to help needy; more to be done
Volunteers distributing food to the poor in wake of lockdown in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Nihad Amani and Mohammad Hussain

Hyderabad: “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of humanity,” a proverb states.   

Several NGOs, individuals and businesses are pitching in to help the citizens and government through various initiatives with the hope that humanity would survive these dreadful times of coronavirus onslaught.

From distributing food to providing masks and sanitisers to contributing funds many Hyderabad based NGOs and hospitals have united to help citizens and government fight the virus, which is rapidly spreading.

For instance, Zomato Feeding India had pledged to deliver food assistance for families affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. The Zomato initiated ‘Feed the Daily Wager’ to provide food support to such families and to help them have a reliable supply of meals in the absence of employment opportunities.

It also plans to donate food worth Rs 25 Crores to the entire nation; each kit for a family costs Rs. 500. Zomato running an online donation campaign promising to distribute meal kits to families of daily wage earners in Hyderabad and 25 other cities.

Sunshine Hospitals are providing face masks and sanitizers to every visitor. They have also restricted the number of attendees to one per patient.

A number of hospitals like Niloufer, Care, KIMS and NIMS are holding campaigns and awareness programmes.

Stanza Living, a provider of living space, has come up with special provisions with minimum charges. An executive of the company stated, “We are trying to provide help for all as there are no hotels, rooms or lodge facilities available following the outbreak of the virus.”

“Don’t ask the country what it can do for you, show the people what you can for them,” was the famous saying the siasat.com team heard at various places in the city.

 “I met a man near Osmania Hospital at Afzal Jung wandering and roaming when I informed him about the virus and asked him to go to GHMC shelters,” Abdul Jabbar a private company employee said.

The man said, “meku nahi maloam kaaN hai wo. MaiN yaaN isiliye ghumrauN taakey police wale meru ku dalke leke chalegae tho kam se kam rehne ku jage aur khane ko khaana tho miljata. (I don’t know where to go. I wandering here so that the police arrest me and put me somewhere. There at least, I would get something to eat and space to sleep,”) Abdul Jabbar quoted a wanderer near OGH).

It’s not just the NGO with bigger resources at their disposal that have come up with measures to help the people during these testing times but also individuals who are carrying bags of groceries on their two-wheelers and four-wheelers and distributing them to the people found desperate on the streets. These good Samaritans are pleasing with police to allow them to carry goods to the needy persons.  

“The citizens are facing their worst times. They are worried about their own sustenance for the next 20 days or so. But they appear to be more worried about how others, more needy persons would survive. They have begun to share their little savings to help the poorest of poor,” said an employee of Niloufer Hospital, Red Hills. As he spoke he pointed out the boys on bikes who had come to serve daal and rice to the patients and their attendees.

The boys refused to give their names but said they come from joint families where senior women are preparing food and encouraging them to go out and distribute it.

One of the NGOs, the Kalaam Foundation, a group of voluntary organizations has committed to providing ration kits to 1000 and more families in the city. The Foundation members are providing ration kits to families in slums like Talab Katta, Mangalhat, Dhoolpet, NTR Nagar and Yellamma Banda.

The foundation has also started a crowdfunding campaign with milaap for financial support from the public.

Meanwhile, Professional Solidarity Forum (PSF) has started the distribution of food packets for lunch and dinner across all the government hospitals and slum areas. Today it has distributed about 2000 packets. The organization has promised to continue the service.

Helping Hand Humanity in collaboration with Cyberabad Police and a group of activists led by Prashanth has been distributing over 200 food packets daily. They have begun their work from the day lockdown began. Prashanth said, “Volunteers are coordinating with restaurants to cook food every day and the Cyberabad Traffic Police to collect food from them and distribute across the area.

Faiz-e-Aam trust Secretary and other staff have been distributing ration, water, biscuits and juice bottles to the underprivileged families. The trust has been donating ration on a daily basis.

Osman Mohammed Khan, a social and political activist, has committed to providing three meals a day to the needy people near railway stations.

Khalida Parveen, a social activist, in the Mehdipatnam area, is cooking food for a number of needy and distributing it with the help of her relatives and friends.

Mateen, on the other hand, has been carrying food packets in a van and giving away to people who are on roads and in isolated lanes and by-lanes of Hyderabad.

We at siasat.com salute all those who have come out to help people in these testing times.  We would like the wealthier people in Hyderabad, most of whom are still shying away from their social responsibility, to come forward and join the humanitarian effort.


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