Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) starts a crowdfunding drive to provide ration, medicines, and sanitary kits to over 10000 families in Dharavi for the next two months. The initiative is being jointly carried out by BMC's G (North) ward and NGO Antarang Foundation through Give India, an online fundraising platform.
The move comes after the civic body observed that more than 70 per cent of Dharavi’s population is daily wage earners who work in small-scale leather and packaging industries, autorickshaw drivers or artisans, among others.
The civic body and Antarang Foundation have managed to collect Rs 57,000 in just 6 hours, which can sponsor a month worth ration kit for 38 families in Dharavi's containment zones.
The BMC has identified and prepared a list of 10,645 families on priority which mostly includes senior citizens, single mothers, and widows – who would be provided with ration kits, medicines, sanitary napkins and sets of masks and gloves and 1500 ml of sanitiser.
As per the plan, by donating Rs. 4,500, one can arrange these kits for three families. All of these 10,654 families are in high-risk areas sealed under containment zones.
“Providing food items, ration and other essentials have become a challenging task for us. Most people living in the dense slum pockets across Dharavi live hand to mouth. Most of them have no savings, a few have exhausted their savings in the last two months.
Thus, they have to step out, so maintaining social distancing became impossible. Through crowdfunding, we will ensure that over 10,000 families which are genuinely affected get ration kits and other essentials.
Once that is worked out, we will see how we can reach out to other affected people," Assistant Municipal Commissioner, G North ward, Kiran Dighavkar, told the Free Press Journal. Around 55% of COVID-19 infected persons from Dharavi are in the age group of 20 to 40 years.
"The age group of those infected say it all, it clearly indicates that these people, who otherwise would be working, are stepping out to arrange for food and essentials for their families and in turn risk theirs and others life,” added Dighavkar.