Dipesh Tank is a full-time social worker. But unlike most social workers committed to a single cause, he believes in “helping people in whichever way possible”.
Following the countrywide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation got dire for migrant workers in urban cities across the country. Left with no jobs, they started to head back to their rural homes. Dipesh jumped in to help by reaching out to those starting their journey from Mumbai.
“We’re in our homes, comfortably enjoying our meals. There are people out there going without food. How can one not feel uncomfortable thinking about that?”, says Dipesh.
He has been providing ration and survival essentials like gamcha, water, and reflectors to those travelling back on foot. He mentioned that while ration was a no-brainer, the news of a family hit by a car while cycling back home in UP, shook him. He figured that reflectors could help ensure their safety as they walked home, so he started to get reflectors to stick them on their backs.
Dipesh raises funds for this through donations and by collaborating with artist-friends. He started about four weeks back and has already provided ration to over 7000 people so far. He’s now looking to raise more funds and anticipates that close to 2000 families will be journeying in the coming weeks. He frequents the Western and Eastern Express Highways, and Bhiwandi, for ration and essentials, and has distributed food packets in Dharavi and Charkop.
“If I see someone in need, I’m not going to be a bystander. I will go help them with whatever resources I have.”, says Dipesh. He believes that everyone can do something to help; we’re all capable of being kind and empathetic.
Mahindra salutes Dipesh’s spirit and drive to be a vigilant citizen and help those who are hit the worst.
If you know someone who is doing their bit to help the community fight this crisis, tag them or share their stories with us in the comments. We will share more such stories of #PeopleWhoRise across our social media handles.