(Highlights from the Youth Feed India movement)
With the massive outbreak of COVID-19 across the country and the nationwide lockdown that followed, a huge and urgent need to bring ration and other essential supplies to the most vulnerable came to the fore. In the absence of work, migrant workers, other daily wage earners, single mothers, and LGBTQIA+ community members struggled to bring food on the table for their families.
Although the central and state governments provided relief packages, often times beneficiaries did not receive adequate supplies in time as a result of information asymmetries and bureaucratic inefficiencies.
As members of a young generation of Indians, Shaaz Mehmood, Deepti Kat, and Tanya Mallavarapu Reddy rose to the occasion and began the Youth Feed India movement on 21 March 2020 to help those in need during these trying times. Soon, what started as an intent to do good transformed into India’s largest and most effective effort to feed those in need during the coronavirus lockdown.
With chapters across Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Gulbarga, Chennai, Puducherry, Mumbai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, and Hisar, the Youth Feed India movement distributed ration packages to over 55,000 families in need that fed them with more than 4,000,000 meals. Ration packages typically included food supplies such as atta, rice, pulses, salt, sugar, onions, turmeric powder, oil, and tea, among others. Other essential supplies such as masks, sanitary napkins, and snacks were also distributed. Bhajan Global Impact Foundation spearheaded the Youth Feed India movement in the state of Haryana. We also ensured that we consciously helped revive local economies by procuring food supplies from local, credible wholesalers at no profit. We also ensured that frontline volunteers observed the strictest protocols of hygiene and social distancing.
We thank the citizens of India who selflessly contributed towards raising funds for ration supplies. We thank our frontline volunteers across all chapters who risked their lives to ensure that ration packages reached the recipients in time. We thank the local administration as well as NGO partners across our chapters who were instrumental in coordinating and streamlining our efforts.
BGIF Vice Chairman appeal here and interview here.