Mumbai: Three army men have taken up cudgels for two of the most neglected communities - the transgenders and sex workers and provided them with ration and other essentials. These army men, with the help of Mumbai Police, have reached out to transgenders and the commercial sex workers in these dark hours and have distributed food and hygiene kits to these communities, who are worst hit by the lockdown, announced after the outbreak of the novel Covid-19.
The army men – Major Pradeep Arya, Captain Neil Shaji and Major Sanjay Raole – are among the highly regarded officers of the Indian Territorial Army.
Along with the help of Veeresh Prabhu, the Additional Commissioner, Mumbai Police, these samaritans distributed food and hygiene kits in the streets of Kamathipura and Falkland regions of Mumbai, where innumerable sex workers and transgenders live.
"I think these communities are particularly hard-hit as their source of income is stopped. With the support and assistance of Mumbai Police and partnered NGOs, we were able to swiftly implement the first stage of this course from May 22 and continued among other sectors and regions of Mumbai," said Captain Neil Shaji.
"Catering to the basic needs, each kit will contain not only groceries but also hygiene products. We aim to distribute 4500 ration kits and 4500 hygiene kits in the first stage," Shaji added.
Speaking about the initiative, Major Pradeep Arya said, "Our aim is to support the vulnerable people and encourage them to stay home and not step outside to buy essentials. I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is complex, especially during these trying times."
Arya further explained that these kits contain wheat flour, rice, pulse (daal), turmeric powder and chilli powder.
These army men were supported by many in order to help out these neglected communities. "On behalf of the entire team, we are thankful to everyone who contributed in every possible way, no matter how big or small. A large number of livelihoods are affected by the lockdown, so as our duty we will continue to work towards the relief for the vulnerable groups in the days to come,” said Major Sanjay Raole.
Raole, further informed that they were supported by NGOs like Prerna Foundation, Apne Aap Collective, Rescue Foundation for their work with the community Sex Workers and Arju Foundation for their assistance with the transgender communities.