Locals in Lucknow come together to ensure that no-one in the city goes to sleep without food
We come across gut wrenching stories of suffering and hunger on the daily, where people without home, shelter, food and money, are forced to live on the streets and on the benevolence of strangers. The lockdown has opened our eyes to the economic disparity, the poor and their fight for survival. Social media has been a game changer when it comes to making us face the kind of society we have created and somehow take onus of our responsibilities.
In the Corona stricken world, social media is helping people reach out to various organisations and even establish new organisations to feed the hungry mouths of Lucknow. Today we bring you two such initiatives which have realised the potential of social media and community support, saving thousands from the clutches of hunger.
Feed Needy People and Animals (Feeding 4-5 thousand on the daily)
Started by gym buddies Arjun Sanyal, Thakur Aman Singh, Aniruddh Singh and Gyanesh Sharma Lohani, Feed Needy People and Animals started as a small initiative where friends decided to reach out to the hungry after seeing emotionally charged pictures on social media. What started as a tiny initiative with an aim to "do as much as one can" turned into a community kitchen which serves almost 5,000 people and hundreds of animals on the daily.
After starting their independent initiative on 23rd March, a WhatsApp group was made by the "Feed Needy People and Animals" admins who urged their friends and family to donate money, ration and food for a cause. When the donations came pouring in and the worked picked up, the 'Feed Needy People and Animals' group registered itself as a community kitchen with the Lucknow Municipal Corporation as per the DM's directive.
The group uses social media to share images of the happy faces, letting people know how even the smallest donations have put a smile on someone's face. Today, the group serves 4 thousand food packets, raw grains, pulses, fruits and veggies to feed thousands of hungry mouths in Lucknow Municipal Corporation Zone 8.
Gyanesh from the Feed Needy People and Animal group tells Knocksense, "We saw what the labours and daily wage workers in our neighbourhood (Alambagh, Para, Ashiana, Krishna nagar and adjacent area) are going through and we had to do something about it. So some of us from the neighbourhood along with the local corporator Devendra Singh Yadav aka Jeetu Yadav, came together to feed people and provide them with basic necessities and today we feed over 1,000 people daily."
Alambagh's Kesari Kheda Ward- where the community comes together
While the first story speaks of the wonders of social media, this one is strictly about the good which comes when the community comes together. A group of people from the Kesari Kheda ward came together to help the daily wage workers and poor migrants who've come to Lucknow from faraway states including Jharkhand, West Bengal and beyond. These daily wage labourers and workers have been stuck in Lucknow because of the lockdown with no work, food or peace.
Gyanesh along with some locals from the Alambagh area and the corporator (Jeetu Yadav) have been successful in providing people with raw material, food and oftentimes everyday essentials. "People from all across Lucknow call us now, asking for help, food and things they need. When we receive these calls, our corporators arranges the help required with other corporators of the respective ward so that people can get what they need."
Since Jeetu Yadav and Gyanesh's efforts are solely dependent on what the community gives them they often end up receiving overwhelming quantities. Just a few days ago the Kesari Kheda group received 500 kgs of Red Bell Peppers, worth approximately ₹1,00,000!
The community provides food which is carried to the people through special Police Response Vehicles (PRVs) and is distributed with the help of local volunteers, police personnel and the local admin. This is the biggest example of all amazing feats a community can achieve when they work towards a singular cause, here it is making sure that no-one in their neighbourhood goes hungry.