Since the 25th of March, the city has come to a standstill with the government imposing a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to stop the rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus. With only a rare few local shops opening for a stipulated time every week, getting even essential commodities had become difficult across the city. Several kilometres into the interiors of Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Aarey Forest colonies are numerous tribal hamlets had access to none. Their reach to the entire city was sealed away leaving them with little supplies for an uncertain future.
Amidst the fear and chaos, the women from tribal hamlets of SGNP took it upon themselves to seek help from the NGOs that had previously worked with them. One such was the Tribal Tadka Foundation. The women contacted Cassandra Nazareth and within a few days of immense coordination and mobilization, truckloads of kits filled with large units of rice grains and pulses, oil at times withsugar, vegetables and chillies, started reaching households in Navpada, Rajnipada, Ravanpada, Vanicha pada, Jivacha pada and the nearby areas. The kits were sponsored by various organised and often even crowd-funded, “About 240 packages were sent covering ration for all 11 villages in SGNP and more than 15 villages of Aarey Colony where every single household received kits and sometimes even cooked meals” says Nazareth. “Ghilvi and Kelwa Bazar, two remote fishing villages of Palghar were reached out to as well.”
The whole process was carried out over phones. WhatsApp groups were made with the villagers and they were encouraged to participate. The groceries were packed and sent to them in labeled bags and they would unload the aid and distribute the same among themselves.Lists, coupons, and records accounting for every kit were made. The excess food was sent to other villages. Along with this the NGO has now also resumed its activities of encouraging the Warli women to produce and sell their cultural food, handicrafts, and festive goods like modaks and diyas to help them financially.
Want to contribute from your locality in Mumbai or MMR? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.