Mumbai’s Kurla Shows Both Social Distancing and Social Solidarity
Amid the lockdown, Kurla locals are helping those in need. 
Amid the lockdown, Kurla locals are helping those in need. (Photo Courtesy: Shahana Arab/Altered by The Quint)

Mumbai’s Kurla Shows Both Social Distancing and Social Solidarity

“Humanity is going through a tough time, and reaching out to those who require our help is the need of the hour.”

This is what a few locals from my society said when I asked what led them towards this initiative. As India goes under lockdown for three weeks and people are self-isolating to minimise the spread of coronavirus, locals are putting themselves on the front lines to help those in need.

On 22 March, a group of boys in my society in Kurla brought groceries, food items and water to strangers who were stuck at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus – these strangers were migrant workers who were unable to leave the city due to the lockdown. This initiative was started by Asif Qureshi, a fellow resident.

Emergency food service arranged for those in need.
Emergency food service arranged for those in need.
(Photo Courtesy: Shahana Arab)

Also Read : On Day 1 of Total Lockdown, I Waited Hrs to Get Milk at Chhatarpur

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Around 20 people from our society, young and old alike, volunteered to help him with packing and distribution.

Volunteers distributing food items in Kurla.
Volunteers distributing food items in Kurla.
(Photo Courtesy: Shahana Arab)

The boys also distributed masks and sanitizers and also helped make people aware about the seriousness of the pandemic as well as the importance of staying at home.

Last week, a senior inspector warned people about the seriousness of the situation and advised them to stay indoors and maintain social distancing but the people took that warning casually.
Food being prepared.
Food being prepared.
(Photo Courtesy: Shahana Arab)

The local team did not stop at LTT station. They also reached out to several other daily wage earners in the locality and distributed food and water to each one of them.

Asif collected funds (in cash mostly) from the residents, his friends, relatives and even acquaintances in UK, Qatar and Dubai. Approximately 75-80 people have contributed (from the 65 flats in our building).

Also Read : Despite COVID-19 Outbreak, I Was Asked to Reuse My Surgical Mask

Compassion in Times of Crisis

The young band of boys reached out to King Edward Hospital in Parel on 24 March and distributed food to all hospital staff including doctors and relatives of patients who were unable to afford food due to the lockdown.

“Daily wage workers have lost their earnings, people who commute daily to the city for work are stuck due to the suspended transportation.”
A volunteer
Food distribution drive.
Food distribution drive.
(Photo Courtesy: Shahana Arab)
Around 170 packages of biryani and bananas were given to the needy.

There is a need to practice social distancing, but let us not forget to be compassionate towards one another!

Also Read : As Most WFH Over COVID-19, We Made ‘Work From Farm’ Our New Normal

The senior inspector of Chunabhatti Police Station has given these locals permission to continue their work during the lockdown. A police jeep might accompany them after sunset, one of the volunteers told me.

People are staying in, praying at home, supplying food and water, emotionally supporting others, spreading awareness and standing up for each other. Together, we shall overcome.

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(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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