2020 was the year when the nation was badly hit by global pandemic COVID-19, this was the same time Asif Kamal Foundation started its operation in India. The country was under lockdown which extended for nearly 4 months. Thousands of migrant workers were suffering and trying to move back to their native places either because of loss of jobs or panicked due to uncertainty of future and health risks.
Thousands of people were struggling to get food and other essential items due to lockdown, particularly from the most deprived section which was either living in shelter homes or had no place to live. The team of volunteers from the Asif Kamal Foundation’s started working on the ground in New Delhi to help such people including laborers. But during the month of May movement of migrant workers from Punjab, Maharashtra, and Karnataka to Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and other states became a major cause of concern. These laborers were waking bare-foots in the scorching summer heat for miles to reach their home.
Many individuals, organizations, corporates, and NGOs including Asif Kamal Foundation came forward to help these migrants reach their destinations safely. Asif Kamal Foundation helped by arranging the movement passes and also help them financially to arrange food and essential item. The foundation arranged 15 buses for migrant workers to reach to Supaul and Purniya districts of Bihar. The foundation also started A WhatsApp helpline number and WhatsApp Support Groups of 40 Pradhans, 450 elected members, and 4 Jila Parishads to ensure that the relief material reaches the needy people. The foundation even helped in procuring and distributing the ration and essential goods to these people.
Essential food items being distributed in New Delhi |
Asif Kamal Foundation is an organization that aims to work in rural India for the strengthening of the healthcare and education system. Its founder Asif Kamal is a renowned businessman and an art connoisseur, who originally hails from Bihar. After establishing a successful business in Dubai and India he wanted to work for the betterment of society and the place where he belongs to. So, he laid the stone of Asif Kamal Foundation. He is dedicated to working for the rural sector of India. About the present situation, he says “To avoid the kind of situation we have faced a previous year and to empower the nation we have to empower rural India. We all understand that with the kind of infrastructure we have if the pandemic had entered into rural India last year, we could not have imagined the magnitude of effect.”
The foundation which is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013 in Delhi in the year 2019, is working in the rural areas of Bihar to build affordable schools and healthcare units for underprivileged people. The idea behind this is to make all the necessary services available in the villages themselves so that people do not rush to bigger cities for these basic amenities. As the second wave of the pandemic has already hit the country severely and most of the country is again under COVID-19 inflicted lockdown, the team of Asif Kamal Foundation has been distributing masks sanitizers and essential goods in these rural areas. The foundation is also helping in generating awareness about vaccination and other safeguards among rural people.