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

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.