Winning Bizness Bureau
Mumbai. With Covid-19 pandemic-led lockdown exposed the plight of the society’s underbelly — the countless homeless and beggars surviving on the charity of people bore the most of the brunt as they had no place to beg food, no ways to earn wages, no jobs, no savings, no social safety net. As the days of lockdown progressed, it has begun to tell a chilling tale.
It was the high time when the warriors of Mumbai chapter of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) swung into action and launched a gigantic mission to feed them by reaching out at their doorsteps. YWAM is a registered NGO that feels privileged to give back to the society for 30 years in several parts of India by pioneering various welfare and empowerment programs among street children, lepers, those living with HIV/AIDS, drug addicts, and the poor and needy.
Considering the gravity, teams of volunteers across the MMR chalked out broad agenda to offer help, relief, and opportunities for a better life to lakhs of unfortunate and distressed sections of the society and according to its senior members, these people had reached to over 80,000 poor people and other needy people with food, water and other essentials till the end of May and story still in progress.
First of all, in order to reach out to the needy people across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, which expands from Mumbai metropolis to Thane, Palghar, Navi Mumbai and Raigad district, we divided these areas in several zones. Our team created 25 zones in Mumbai, 4 zones in Thane, 6 zones in Palghar and 24 zones in Navi Mumbai and Raigad district.
Describing the strategy of this mission, its Project Director Marimuthu, said, “After earmarking the zones, we decided to execute our planning in four projects. In first project, we served 6,700 cooked food in packets in the different pockets of the zones and in 2nd project, our team distributed 9,874 grocery kits to distressed families. Each bag contained 10kgs of dry ration. With one bag, a family of 4 can survive for 7 days. We distributed cooked food packets to the homeless in Jogeshwari East, Aarey Colony, Andheri Station, SEEPZ area and Kandivali West.”
“In the third project, they targeted Mumbai police jawans and distributed coconut water, water bottles, fruits and masks to 1200 jawans by travelling almost 200 kms. And in the fourth project, we saw the need of helping migrant workers, so we started providing food packets, water bottles, fruits, snacks to over 11,344 migrant workers who were walking. We also transported about 184 of them in our bus,” said Marimuthu.
Marimuthu, also the director of Centre For Urban Mission, informed that all the beneficiaries included homeless, blind, physically & mentally challenged, widows, transgenders, migrant workers, tribal communities, beggars, HIV/AIDS affected, slum dwellers and the entire team of YWAM received accolades and blessings from the beneficiaries.
Hailing the works of the YWAM team members, an act of benevolence, a beneficiary of Aarey Colony Saraswati said, “We were in deep trouble. I have two children and didn’t have anything to eat as my daily wage worker husband lost the job. Sometimes, I used to cry and think on how to get food to live. We were looking everywhere and finally came across YWAM Team and within 2-3 days they provided us rations kits. YWAM not only helped me but also all people staying in my area, I thank God and YWAM for helping all of us.”
Echoing the same, another beneficiary from Jogeshwari Ganesh Rao said, “We were suffering after lockdown. We didn’t have enough food to eat and we tried many ways but failed. Finally, YWAM people found us and started giving us food packets daily for me and my family.”
Underlining its motto of YWAM, Marimuthu said, “Whenever we find people in need, distressed, homeless or in dire need of essential things, we can’t resist ourselves in helping them. Giving back to society by mainly uniting the youths, is our motto.”
He also said that the work of helping out needy people still on in Mumbai and outskirts, albeit slower speed, as the amount of donation we used to receive in initial days, have subdued.