Alliance for Progressive Indians Helps Pune Waste Pickers, Many Others across India

A SWaCH worker going collect waste from doors of people.

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Pune, April 8, 2020: The Alliance for Progressive Indians is a group of Indian academics, students, doctors, lawyers, engineers, researchers and humanitarians, which has been raising funds to help the needy in India in their fight against hunger during Covid19 pandemic.

The team consisting of Dr Lubna Rahman, Abhimanyu, Alokeparna Ray from Germany, Ansar Ahmed from Belgium, Sucharita Sengupta from Switzerland, Dr Asad Rauf and Dr Ritumbra Manuvie from the Netherlands.

“Through this campaign we are raising funds to assist our Indian partners in their fight against hunger during Covid19 pandemic. We are also trying to create awareness through our passionate and dedicated volunteers spread across India.

We have partnered with Ketto which has waived off its fees in the current pandemic. We are working in 12 states (Assam, Andhra Pradesh,Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal ) and expect to expand our reach. This can only be possible with your generosity and solidarity. Our campaign went live on 30th March 2020, and since than it has supported 4 NGOs including Karwan-e-Mohabbat (New Delhi), Kashtakari Panchayat(Pune), Samarpan (Mumbai) and Hasiru Dala(Bengaluru).

Also nine individual angels from cities like Kolkata, Noida, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Gudur, Bengaluru and Faridabad. (1 fundraiser has reached its goal in record time, while other 8 campaigns are still going).

In Pune, they have partnered with Kashtakari Panchayat and SWaCH, whose waste picker members are engaged in door to door collection of waste.

Till now we have distributed 5000 personal protection kit (PPE) to the 5000 waste pickers who collect waste of 40,00,000 individuals across the city of Pune. PPE consists of gloves, masks, scarves and sanitizers/soaps. It costs Rs 900/person and is expected to last for 3 months.

Also 1000 ration kits have been distributed amongst 1000 families. Each family houses upto 6 individuals. Ration kit consists of Grains, Pulses, oil, sugar, tea, biscuits, puffed rice etc. The cost of this kit is Rs 1000”, informed Dr Lubna Rahman.

Kashtakari Panchayat and SWaCH

“The waste pickers of Pune, the Bai who comes to pick up garbage and makes sure that it reaches the disposal van needs your attention. She and her colleagues are one of the extraordinarily vulnerable groups in the context of the COVID19 outbreak. They provide an essential service of solid waste collection and do not have the option of working from home like you and me.

These waste pickers collect, transport and sort waste on a daily basis, exposing themselves to waste material from over 10,00,000 households of more than 40,00,000 individuals. This puts them at a very high risk of getting and transmitting infection. The informal and itinerant waste pickers rely solely on the daily sale of recyclables for their income.

Their work benefits the health of Mother Nature and supports the city’s solid waste management, yet they are unprotected due to the informal nature of their work. Many of them simply cannot afford to suspend their work to protect their health.

The elderly waste pickers (close to 1000 in number) are forced to stay at home and stop working, but this cuts off their income and makes them a critical group in need of support. Further, all waste pickers live and work in crowded public spaces, often without adequate facilities to protect from COVID19 and other infections. Family members of waste pickers, who are often daily wage earners or informal sector workers, have completely lost their means of livelihood.

Kashtakari Panchayat is in dire need of resources. They are providing kits PPE kits (consisting gloves, masks, scarves and sanitizers/soaps) costing Rs 900, per person for 3 months. Dry ration kit of Rs 2000 for a family, lasting a month (consisting of wheat, rice, lentils, pulses, oil, sugar, tea) and this can only be possible with your contributions.”

Other works of Alliance for Progressive Indians are as follows :

1- NGO Karwan-e-Mohabbat is reaching out to sections of the population that live on the edge even in times of apparent “normalcy”. Mr.Harsh Mander and Ms. Natasha Bhadwar are working endlessly, putting their lives at stake during these grave times. Their only mission in life is to help the individuals who are worst hit. In the national capital, it being their core area, they have tried to reach out as intensively as possible. They have also started relief efforts in the states with the support of regional teams. This includes Bokaro and Dhanbad in Jharkhand, Muzaffarnagar and Shamli in Western UP, Barpeta and Kamrup in Assam, Hyderabad, Mangalore and parts of Mewat.

A quick update on states:

Jharkhand : 2nd April: Ration for distribution was arranged at Bokaro (1000 kits) and Dhanbaad (500 kits)

Haryana: 2nd April: Ration for distribution was arranged at Nuh, Punhana and Bhiwari – 200 kits each

Western UP: 2nd April: Ration for distribution has been arranged at Shamli and Tehsil Kairana – a total of 1000 kits.

Assam: 2nd April: Ration for distribution has been arranged at Kamrup (100 kits). Ration is being distributed today to 80 families in Nagarbera, Kamrup district of Assam. These are daily wage labourers and migrant workers who managed to reach home.

National Capital Region: In the city of Delhi, our task has been to try and reach out to them – the homeless, the stranded migrant workers and those from parts of NE Delhi that faced the violence in February.

For this they have evolved three different engagements:

a) Distribution of cooked meals: Based on continuous need assessment and experience of work they have figured out locations where they need to distribute cooked food. While several of these are areas where the homeless gather (for work) or stay, others are slums where the most downtrodden live. The volunteers are moving with vehicles that are collecting nutritious cooked food from a central kitchen and reaching these areas.

29th March: they distributed 5000 meals across the city at Ramesh Park, Nizamuddin, Pushta area, Wazirabad, Chhatarpur, Mukundpur chowk, Badli, and Rohini Kali Mandir.

30th March: they distributed 4000 meals across the city at Kashmiri Gate (near Thana, Ritz cinema), Mori Gate, Azadpur, Ghantaghar, Sabzi Mandi, Tis Hazari, Yamuna Pushta Flyover, Jama Masjid, Sewa Nagar, Lodhi Road.

31st March: With the Delhi government’s ration distribution and food delivery system kicking in to some extent, it appears that though despair was palpable, the extent of the immediate distress was mitigated to some degree.They distributed 1600 meals across the city at Hari nagar, Ghanta ghar, Mayapuri, Azad Market, Monastery market, Sadar Bazar, Teli Vaada, Behind Old Delhi Railway Station, Kashmiri Gate, Bada Bazar, Tis Hazari.

1st April: They distributed 2000 meals across the city at Mori Gate, Gol Chakkar, Mori Gate School, Azad Market, Monastery Market, Geeta Ghat, Sadar Bazar, Teli Vaada, Behind Old Delhi Railway Station.

b) Distribution of dry ration: Particularly for stranded migrant workers, the violence affected families in NE Delhi and to the distressed families in the slum areas they have also been packing and delivering dry ration kits in bulk. The kits include: 5kg wheat flour, 5 kg rice, 2 kg pulse, 1 kg salt, 1 kg sugar, 1 lt refined oil, 100 g chilli powder, 50 g turmeric powder, 50 g coriander powder, 50 g zeera, 1 bathing soap and 1 detergent bar. The dry ration is being packed centrally based on the verification and requirement analysis of SOS calls by a backend team. The same is then being transported to the required site.

30th March: The team could send 200 rations kits to Azadpur, Shahadra, Chand Bagh, Shiv Vihar, Noida, Loni and Kashmiri Gate. Each such distress call roughly corresponds to 40-60 families.

31st March: They have distributed 329 ration kits to Old Mustafabad, Brijpuri, Jahangirpuri, Nehru Place, Jangpura, Modi Mill, Noida and Shiv Vihar.

1st April: They have distributed 210 ration kits to Sri Ram Colony, Sonipat, Jahangirpuri, Babu Nagar, Shiv Vihar, Brijpuri, Nathupur and Tuglakabad.

c) Facilitated Distribution of cooked meals: Apart from this they have also facilitated distribution through fraternal networks in several areas.

29th March: Facilitated distribution of 2500 cooked food at Sewa Nagar, Nizamuddin, Nehru Place, Company Bagh and Barkhandi Mandir.

2: Beneficiary from Kolkata, Mr. Ehsanul Haque has been working with slum dwellers since the 27th of March 2020. He and his team are feeding the homeless and distributing rations to families across Kolkata.

Here is a list of items distributed by his team:

  • 27.03.2020: Rice+potatoes+onions+aata+dal
  • 31.03.2020: Bread+ cooked rice and dal+lifebuoy soap
  • 01.04.2020: cooked vegetables and rice+fruit
  • 02.04.2020:raw vegetables+dal+rice+spices
  • 03.04.2020: biscuits+oil+puffed rice
  • 05.04.2020:rice+potatoes+lentils+puffed rice
  • 06.04.2020:cooked veg biryani + fried potato gravy oil+ soap+lentils
  • 07.04.2020: cooked rice + Potato curry+ raw rice+ raw lentils+ onions+ potatoes
  1. Beneficiary in Noida, Mr Raashad Khan is helping 23 migrant construction workers who are stuck in Khora colony of Noida’s labour chowk. The migrant workers are from Cooch Behar, West Bengal

B) is working with 40-50 people from a garment factory. These immigrant workers were stuck in Tuglakabad and didn’t have food on their plates for a couple of days. Mr.Khan offered money to these families to buy the food supply.

C) is helping a family of 8 individuals in Rammilan Gram, Baktabarpur, Noida Sector 127, Shani Mandir Dist – Goutam Buddh nagar.

D) handed over the food supply for 30 people at Masjid Fatehpuri in old delhi. He also distributed ration to many families in surrounding areas of Noida.

4) Beneficiaries from Lucknow, Mr.Shivam and Mr.Abbass are preparing food everyday for 200 people. It’s an open kitchen and anyone can have a meal with them. They are also distributing ration to 100 families or 500 individuals.

5) Beneficiaries from Gudur (Andhra Pradesh) are distributing rations to 200 families. The kit contains: Rice, dal, tamarind, semiya, Cooking oil, sugar, salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder and pickles.This kit is expected to last upto 10 days.

Follow “Alliance for Progressive Indians” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Ketto for daily updates.

Dear Readers, Help them achieve their mission of reaching out to the most vulnerable sections of the society through your donations, contributions and solidarity. So that in this time of Pandemic no one should die of hunger!!

Please spread a word through social media channels and word of mouth.