Skip to main content

Ahmedabad NGO-aided self-run Dignity Kitchens feeding thousands of migrants

By Our Representative
In a unique initiative, an Ahmedabad-based NGO Janvikas-supported Institute of Social Studies and Transformation (IST), in close coordination with the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Zone 5, Ravi Teja, has begun providing food, through 15 self-run kitchens, to thousands of migrants twice a day in Ahmedabad.
Called Dignity Community Kitchens, the decision of the NGO to help the migrants was taken after DCP Ravi Teja decided to involve the NGO, which submitted the idea of allowing the migrants to operate their own kitchens with community support in dozen-odd clusters. Zone 5 consists of Gomtipur, Rakhiyal and Saraspur in old city area, where a large number of Covid-19 cases have been identified.
Teja's decision to involve NGO came after he held discussions with Janvikas chair Gagan Sethi, who was told that there were around 5,000 migrants in Zone 5, but since majority of them, around 4,800 were Muslims, "nobody organization" in Ahmedabad was coming forward to help out establish kitchen feed them. Sethi cited this as an example of the type of discrimination faced by Muslims during Covid-19 during a virtual seminar.
The decision to come up with Dignity Community Kitchens, called “Atma Samman: Apni Rasoi, Apna Khana”, was taken, says an NGO source, after it was found that migrants from “flung states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal” were unable to go back because of the decision to extend of the lockdown to May 3, 2020, and they are facing a major resource crunch.
The source said, the situation got particularly serious as the health crisis worsens with increasing number of Covid-19 positive patients in Ahmedabad, and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) shifted its focus towards managing health crisis rather than responding to the hunger needs of the migrant workers.
“Consequently”, said an NGO note, “Within less than 24 hours of the announcement of the extension of the lockdown, hundreds of migrant workers started coming on to the roads in many parts of the country, including Ahmedabad, demanding food and seeking permission to return to their homes.”
The NGO decided to respond to the nationwide lockdown, announced on March 24, 2020, leading to reports of panic and insecurity amongst migrant labourers working in several sectors as casual and contract labours, which was also true of Ahmedabad and its hinterland. Only workers of neighbouring states, such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra could risk walking hundreds of kilometres to reach their villages, but others got stranded.
Before organizing dignity kitchens, the NGO conducted a mapping exercise to locate the number of workers staying in different clusters. On succeeding to map more than 4,500 such workers and facilitate them to get connected with nearby community groups to access daily food packs, these migrants were link them all to one or the other community group to get daily food.
“We decided to support 12 clusters (each consisting 300-400 workers) in setting up kitchens, identifying and forming small cluster level committees that will run the kitchen, cook food and distribute to all identified workers in that cluster”, the note said, adding,” Along with the police team we supply them required ration, transport facility to supply food packs and monitor that every identified worker in each cluster receives hygienic food on time.”
The note said, procurement of food grain, pulses, spices and oil was being done is being on a weekly basis, while that of vegetables on a daily basis with the help of the DCP office. “For every procurement, invoice is generated, approved locally, and is forwarded to the designated authority of Janvikas for final check and for processing the payment”, it added.
“The NGO's finance department makes payment or requests its partners on the same day or next day through bank transfer to bank accounts of vendors by RTGS”, the note said, adding, “Confirmation of payment received is taken by the NGO after the vendor has received payment.”
Pointing out that police support at every location is found to be very important also because of the need to maintain law and order, the note said, the local communities and volunteers from self-help migrant groups take responsibility for distribution and cleaning of vessels, as also that people standing in queue maintaining social distance, those handling kitchens all use masks, gloves and sanitizers.
The records of people served cooked foods is kept and submitted to NGO on a daily basis through WhatsApp, while each beneficiary migrant is charged token one rupee per meal through a coupon. The amount is used for taking care of any unforeseen expenses with proper maintaining of accounts.

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Recalling Jallianwala martyrs' communal amity as BJP 'warns' of Sitalkuchi everywhere

By Shamsul Islam*  The RSS-BJP rulers declare India to be a battle-ground between Hinduism and Islam. Muslims have been declared as ‘internal threat’ by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar (“Bunch of Thought”, Chapter xvi). Behaviour of many of their leading cadres, including those who hold high constitutional posts, is such that they seem to be conspiring over-time to ignite a civil war between the two communities. They are under the impression that this would help divert attention from failures of the Hindutva rulers on developmental front.