These initiatives will give you a reason to smile this International Happiness Day.
Although it doesn't feel this way, its been a year since coronavirus affected our lives! The pandemic and lockdown took a toll on everyone and Lucknow city braved the consequences with several initiatives taken up by residents and non-profit organisations. We are marking the Coronaversary week by giving you 5 reasons that will make you proud to be called a Lucknowite, apart from making you happy about the fact that though you meet selfish people all the time, the two important traits of humanity- love and kindness still exist!
Making mental health a priority
Man is a social animal who likes to travel and interact as much as possible, however, with the unprecedented lockdown in effect, these privileges were restricted to an extent that our mental well-being started suffering. To counter the stress so caused, the people of Lucknow took matters into their hands and offered help to those in need.
Many mental health practitioners and conglomerates associated with psychological well-being, such as the IACP, gave out a free helpline number where people suffering from anxiety and depressive episodes were offered immediate help. The Psychology Department of Lucknow University started a helpline for frontline workers, especially the police personnel. Further, IMHRC, Nischay Hospital in Gomti Nagar, also offered free counselling sessions for the residents of Lucknow.
A helping hand for the underprivileged
Being the second most populated country in the world and consistently ranking under the 'serious' hunger category, this pandemic posed a mammoth challenge for India. However, the collective goodwill of individuals and non-profit organisations helped in trumping this challenge.
The team of Sarthak Foundation distributed smartphones, sanitary napkins and stationery supplies to the underprivileged children so that their education is not hampered. Further, the Robinhood Army also pitched in to help vegetable vendors and sanitary workers as it distributed essential items during the week-long Daan Utsav. Several organisations including Humanity India Foundation and Akshay Patra Foundation helped alleviate the burden of the poor with generous donations.
Ensuring the well-being of Female Sex Workers
Lucknow has more than 600 female sex workers, registered under the NACO programme and they suffered from financial strains during the lockdown. Consequently, it was difficult for them to purchase the basic necessities for themselves and their family. A youth-run organisation of Lucknow, 'Azaadi International', came to the forefront to address their needs.
The fundraisers were conducted by them in two stages- one where they distributed food and hygiene kits to around 350 sex workers and the other was done with the help of Oxfam India where they distributed a total of 650 kits to 500 sex workers and 150 transgender people. With this endeavour, they helped more than 1200 family members of the sex workers and transgender persons living in Lucknow.
Food for all
It wouldn't be an exaggeration to claim that migrant workers suffered the worst of the lockdown as they struggled to earn money, find food and make their way to their homes. The Support Group LKO Covid-19, and several other organisations, undertook all necessary measures to make the lives of migrant workers easier. Further, private restaurant owners braved their personal routines, like Roza, to serve humanity!
One among these was- Wahid Biryani, which stood up to this occasion and fed 2000 migrant workers per day, thereby, making a record for selling vegetarian biryani for the first time in 65 years! Even the giants of the hospitality industry did not refrain from extending their food services during this pandemic, for Lucknow's Fortune Hotel, among others, was serving more than 1000 meals per day to migrant workers and doctors on the frontline.
Compassion for street animals
While the pandemic was extremely tough for all of us, some humans stepped up to be loving hoomans as they took care of street animals. Several organisations such as Dhyan Foundation, Kanha Upvan, Jeev Ashray and Jeev Basera, among others, joined by some 200 good samaritans as volunteers, fed and treated sick animals.
Further, an artist duo that goes by the name of Jhabbrile on Instagram painted a mural, called Chachi at a desolate spot near Dainik Jagran Crossing, to create awareness and promote people to show compassion towards stray dogs. They even started a movement for the 100+ stray dogs in Lucknow under the name of The Kind Hour.
Strengthening our faith in the belief that humanity can surpass any difficulty when it works selflessly and together, this pandemic brought in its wake a new definition of progress and anyone who has a keen eye can observe that these initiatives are countable but the number of individuals and associations aren't. Struggles are a common part of life, but these kinds of ventures re-instil a sense of belief in us that we can make our way through them.