The COVID-19 pandemic brought forth unparalleled stories of the Yin & Yang of existence the world-over.
The covid-19 pandemic hit India like the rest of the world in March 2020. Awareness and implication of the dreaded disease and the imperative sudden lockdown that needed to be implemented affected the masses in an unprecedented way. The biggest challenge for a nation of 1.35 crore population was clamping a complete lockdown. Although all citizens obeyed and extended complete support in adhering to the rules of the lockdown, it created many basic challenges for everyone regardless of their status, class, creed, community; primarily being food. There was a massive need to serve this basic need not just for human beings but animals too. Lion Harjeetsingh upon his flash of intuition and inspiration on the very first day of lockdown. He took the initiative of creating a WhatsApp group with his school alumni.
They simply circulated a SMS & WhatsApp message
”IF anyone is HUNGRY please call or SMS 942 316 2727.” In a moment this one single line offer became a movement.. a human chain which touched the lives of millions of receivers and givers of caring loving hearts-heads- hands together; challenging and defying all odds of the pandemic.
The first day itself calls for food came from 350 people! It was quickly organized from personal homes of the volunteers and delivered. Their experience inspired them so much that there has been no looking back since then. They only gained more experience to continue to operate as a committed team even today. The overwhelming increase in demand made it imperative to have a systematic approach & additional partners to prepare, collect and distribute food.
A clarion call to anyone and everyone who wished to contribute support and join this food chain brought forth individuals and families from all possible walks of life with no socio-economic or political boundaries whatsoever.
As the number increased multi fold, there was a need for in-house cooking of food. The entire local police administration was a strong pillar throughout the program. From giving ID cards, permission to volunteers to collect deliver this packet safely during lockdown, they played a major role in processing and identifying genuine needs of the communities even in the remotest hamlets of the district. Eventually they offered their official premises for in-house preparation of food from 29 March 2020 up to January 2021.
Lions Club of Ahmednagar is partner with several local social organization like the Lions Club of Ahmednagar Pride, L&T Ltd, Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation, Jain Pitaliya Hostel, Hotel Natraj, Firodia Foundation.
1. Two Google forms were created: One who needed food and one to donate food.
2. Ahmednagar city with 5 lakh population was divided in 8 parts. Each route assigned to two people with food packets for registered needy people plus few hundred extra packets for impromptu service of those in need along the way.
3. Teams were created which included Distribution team 24 persons, Collection 8 person, Cooking 8 people, Back office & Google sheet management 3 people, Admin, accounts, procurement of material 2 People. Overall management, liaising with government, police department & press media 3 people.
531500 Cooked food Packets distributed & continuing even today.( from 23/03/2020 till date)
2550 Ration Kits for Family of Four which could last at least for a month
550 Migrant workers were transported and transferred to their home town.
Two free Covid Care Centers were improvised & continue to operate free of cost. 2000 Plus Patients have recovered. One of the center is exclusively for ladies & their children.
Herbal immunity booster served to 4000 citizens daily morning for 7 plus months.
In those emergency times we had 12 Oxygen Concentrators, 25 Oxygen Cylinders & 1200 Portable Oxygen Cans.
Food for Street Animals, continues till date in times of emergency.