After complete lock down was announced by Government of India to contain the spread of COVID-19, thousands of migrant labourers and daily wages workers were stranded in A&N Islands. Since all works and services were stopped, these men lost their source of income and were struggling to feed themselves and their families. A lot of such families live near Haddo mostly daily earners are the worst sufferers.
Mr.Abdul Rasheed, a local youth from Lilly Pur in Haddo thought of helping the labourers in his area during lock down period by providing them with the essential food items from his home supply. Once he started distributing the food articles in his area by himself, he realised that the number of such needy people were much higher than what he had anticipated. With no income and government aid still to come, these people were rendered helpless.
Although Mr.Rasheed had made up his mind to help the needy with essential food items, it was not going to be an easy task. Due to lock down most shops were closed and vehicle movement was restricted. He sought the help of the local youth of Lillypur to distribute the essential commodities to the needy. Soon the message spread and he started receiving calls from all over municipal area and beyond. It was a challenge for him to find out the real needy person and the fake ones. He sought help from the volunteers of different areas to mark the families in actual need and started sending them packets containing the following articles each:
At ta 2 kg
Haldi powder 100 grms
Chilli powder 100grms
Dhaniya powder 100 grms
Amul taaza 1 Ltr
Sugar 1 kg
Onion 2 kg
Tea 250 grms
Egg 10 nos
Dall 1 kg
Tomato 1 kg
Potato 1 kg
Vegetable oil 1 ltr
Till now he has distributed more than 800 packets costing more than Rs.5 lakhs from his own resources and donations of Rs.40,000 received till date from friends and families. He continues to distribute the essentials as the lock down period has now been extended. He has also started delivering essentials to far flung areas like Namunaghar, Wandoor, Ograbranj and Wimberlygunj.
While he and his team goes door to door to deliver the articles, he also ensures that social distancing is maintained during all stages from procurement to distribution. Due to travel restrictions, he has now started distributing the food items from his own house in Lillypur. But the challenge of distributing from home is to ensure that the food articles do reach the actual people in need. His team of volunteers are going by walk to the nearby homes and delivering to the aged and the sick who are not in a state to collect the food items from his house.
The selfless efforts of this youth in helping the needy during this crisis is being appreciated by all residents of the area. For the poor and the needy he has come as a savior. But then there are people who have not taken his social work in a right way. The local politicians who were looking for an opportunity to do some vote bank politics in the COVID crisis find his selfless and dedicated work as a threat to their popularity in the region.
Government agencies like Directorate of Civil Supplies, who issued 3000 Kg of rice and 1000 Kg wheat on market price and SHO, P.S Chatham SI. Gaurav Banerjee are extending all possible help to Mr.Rasheed and his team for the noble work that they are doing during this crisis.
In this hour of need we need more and more voulnteers like Mr.Rasheed and the youth of Lillypur. These boys have proven that it does not wealth or power to help the people. It is the will and the dedication that can make a change and these boys have shown the way.
Hats off to Mr.Rasheed & his team !!!