Mumbai’s Kurla Shows Both Social Distancing and Social Solidarity
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.
Around 20 people from our society, young and old alike, volunteered to help him with packing and distribution.
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.
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).
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.
There is a need to practice social distancing, but let us not forget to be compassionate towards one another!
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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