A groundsman gets essential supplies from one of the benefactors
A groundsman gets essential supplies from one of the benefactors

While we remain comfortably ensconced in our apartments or houses, mostly unaffected by the lockdown, there are so many people out there who have not eaten a proper meal in days. The turmoil caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc in the lives of millions of people across the globe. At this time, this is the message put out by Nadim Memon, the cricket secretary of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association and his friend Navin Shetty: "We are all in this together. We all can do our bit. Let's feed the hungry and help the less fortunate among us. Together we can make this world a better place.’

Every Sunday since the lockdown, they gather 100 groundsmen from different venues, such as the Oval, Azad, Shivaji Park and Matunga maidans at the Karnataka ground and distribute essentials among them for carrying on their the good work of their forefathers for over decades.

“They have nowhere to go and this is their only livelihood. They religiously take care of the ground, maintaining it well in readiness for when cricket will resume in the days to come,” says Memon, who is also a member of the apex council of the Mumbai Cricket Association.

This Sunday too, the groundsmen were all present at 2 pm, waiting patiently and collecting essentials such as rice, dal, oil, atta and other daily necessities.

“We are from different states across the country but mostly from Uttar Pradesh and we are carrying on the job our forefathers have been doing,” said Ramdas Lalit, who is the third generation Lalits on this job.

“First, there was my grandfather, then my father and now, I have inherited this task,” said Ramdas, who is at the Oval maidan.

We will carry on and we are thankful to Sir Nadim and Sir Shetty who have been providing us with everything for us,” said Raju, is one of the senior-most, and he is better known as Raju Chacha, who is at the Azad Maidan.

Stories of people emptying supermarket shelves or arguing over packets of pasta paint a petty picture during the lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. But Memon and Shetty, along with others, make their way to supermarkets with a cause that inspires thousands of others, and in the process, have set a new benchmark in the city with this noble deed.

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Free Press Journal