It all started when a few media reports on the conditions of crematorium workers pushed Nandini Ghosh to put up a social media post urging her contacts to deliberate on a solution.
Nandini, along with 4 other friends, Ghosh, Shray Gupta, Kriya Bhansali and Yavanika Shahstarted a volunteering initiative called The Good Food Project, which focuses on providing essential commodities, including food to crematorium workers.
“It happened quite fast. We discussed and decided to pitch in Rs 10,000 and buy some 100 packets of dinner, and head to Nigambodh Ghat. From a distance, we could see the smoke rising. One of the most strange experiences was that of distributing food amid cries and wails of the family members of deceased covid patients. It was quite overwhelming at first but as days went by, most of us became numb,” says Shray.
After the first day of distribution, they knew that their initiative could not be a one-time thing and needed to be bigger to create true impact.
But to even attempt to meet the on-ground demand for food, they would have to spend around Rs 40,000 a day to feed 100 people in a few crematoriums. A team then decided to mobilise all their efforts to amplify a crowdfunding campaign online, and in a matter of 48 hours, they managed to raise more than Rs 15 lakh and gather 15 volunteers who were ready to help with food deliveries.
“We have been constantly talking to the workers to get their feedback and understand what essentials they need. There is also the need to spread awareness about the vaccination and dispel misinformation and we are working with several organisations to make that happen,” says Kriya.
From providing daily meals, PPE suits, masks, sanitisers to clean drinking water and ORS (oral rehydration salts) to avoid dehydration, the Good Food Project with a strength of 25 volunteers is now helping more than 250 workers across 20 crematoriums and graveyards. They have also been advocating for vaccinating these workers on priority across India and hope to see the change in the next few months.
Mahindra salutes the challenger spirit of #PeopleWhoRise when faced with daunting challenges. #Rise #TogetherWeRise