While everything around may appear gloomy and uncertain in wake of Chinese coronavirus, a ray of hope has emerged that restores our faith in humanity. Social media is often termed as a toxic place where under the guise of anonymity threats are a regular feature. However, in past few days, the same social media has managed to feed thousands of mouths across India.
OpIndia got in touch with a few of these ‘warriors’ so to say who are fighting the good fight: to ensure in such hard times no person goes to sleep on an empty stomach. One such person has been BJP leader Tajinder Bagga. “I sleep 20 hours as I am spending most of my day coordinating on social media with various people and connecting those who need help to those who could provide. It is a group effort and people from BJP, the Yuva Morcha, the RSS, Art of Living and Patanjali have come out to help,” he says.
At a time when everyone is seeing a one-upmanship, people like Bagga have not let political differences get into the way of humanity. When RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav called for help for the migrant workers in Bihar who were struggling for ration, Bagga coordinated with BJP youth wing to ensure that help is reached.
आदरणीय @ArvindKejriwal जी @TajinderBagga जी और @srinivasiyc जी बिहार के 40 मजदूर विश्वास नगर क्षेत्र, J.J कैम्प, चित्रा विहार झुग्गी, गुजराती हाट दिल्ली में फंसे हुए हैं जिन्हें राशन की किल्लत है। अतः आपसे विनती है कि जल्द इनके लिए राशन व्यवस्था करने की कृपा करें।— Tej Pratap Yadav (@TejYadav14) March 30, 2020
On 30th March, a week after the lockdown was imposed, Yadav tweeted to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, BJP leader Tajinder Bagga as well as RJD ally Congress leader Srinivas. Soon, Bagga tweeted to BJP Youth leader who further coordinated to try and get to the stranded labourers from Bihar.
Similar such ration was arranged for others after RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav reached out to Tajinder Bagga.
Even chief ministers of different states have coordinated through Twitter to ensure the most poor and the needy are taken care of.
Bagga says that Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali team itself has managed to feed about 2000-3000 people in Mumbai and most of this is coordinated through social media.
Ankit Jain, BJP supporter and social media influencer, has also been relentless in coordinating distribution of food packets and ration kits to those in need. “A lady who lives in an ashram at the Nashik-Aurangabad border and is suffering from terminal illness pinged me that she was low on supply of medicines and oxygen. When she tweeted to me, she had five days of supply. Her medicines were stuck in India Post because of lockdown. We tried out best to reach out to concerned people and we tried to get the medicines delivered to her,” he said.
Happy to see this special effort made by the entire team of @IndiaPostOffice to deliver medicines to @pritsee.— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) April 2, 2020
Thanks are due to @indiantweeter @PravinAlai @imAditiofficial @DevangVDave for their spirit of helping out citizens whenever they are in need. Keep it up! https://t.co/zReTTuZQeN
She got the medicines with two days’ worth of stock remaining with her, Ankit informs. There has been overwhelming support from people who have come together to help the ones who are fighting this good fight.
When Humanitarian Aid International’s team went to help a family in distress with ration, they realised they had already received help. However, another family in the neighbourhood with a divyang member needed help. Hence, they provided the ration to them instead.
Bhaisahab the families requested by you had already been helped by the time our team reached there. However there were two more families there, one with a divyang so it didn’t go waste. pic.twitter.com/fGyv9cE4E2— L̶o̶n̶e̶ Crusader 🇮🇳 (@seriousfunnyguy) April 3, 2020
Speaking to OpIndia, HAI Board Member Sudhir said that they have started community kitchens in various parts of Delhi and sending out as many as 2,500 food packets daily to those who need them in those areas. “Some 70-80 Muslim families in recent anti-Hindu riots hit areas of New Delhi were provided ration where we transferred money directly to the ration shop. The families had to just go and collect. In fact, when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office reached out to us we provided food packets to them also. A hungry stomach does not see political ideology,” Sudhir says.
While most of the efforts are volunteer-run, organisation like India Today group reached out to HAI and donated money which was used to procure basic essentials like 40 kg flour, 10 kg daal, 4 ltrs oil, 5 kg sugar, 1 kg salt and other basic spices for 500 families, informs Sudhir.
And while our fight against the Chinese coronavirus continues, it is people like these who give us hope that we will emerge not only stronger but kinder when the pandemic is a thing of past.