India has long been a country where gender, caste and class discrimination have not only persisted, but been triggered by current events. Historically, these identities have been marginalised, with generation after generation rooted in poverty and destitution.
Children may fall prey to sex-traffickers and brothel-owners as a result of poverty in households where female members have been victims of prostitution. In red-light districts, it’s popular to see children playing outside brothels. Few people think about sex workers when they think of everyday wage earners. However, their revenue has decreased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They are confronted by social rejection as well as financial hardship. Waste pickers, who keep towns and cities safe and garbage-free, are on the frontlines of India’s battle against the coronavirus. However, due to the essence of their jobs, they are also among the most vulnerable populations to infection.
The continuing lockdown in the aftermath of the pandemic has impacted the lives of some of the country’s most disadvantaged populations — including migrant labourers, waste pickers, single mothers, artisans and sex workers. In addition to the lockdown, other measures during this period have also played an important role in making the condition of these groups even worse.
Many not-for-profit organisations are carrying out fund-raising appeals to soften the burden of the recession on these groups and guarantee their access to necessities. As everyone’s priority shifted to Covid-19 cases, it became easier for human traffickers to go underground without coming to anyone’s focus. Most of the government services and NGOs were not available to help these women or their families.
Talking about one such NGO, Apne Aap’s global mission is to make the planet a better place by ensuring that no woman is purchased or sold. The NGO’s goal is to end sex trafficking by expanding options for every last girl, ensuring them access to their rights and deterring sex purchasing through policy and social reform.
When an unfortunate occurrence occurred in Apne Aap, 1 Million Meals’ (1MM) journey began. A girl from a school where the Apne Aap team had delivered food packets during the pandemic called one of the team members and pleaded for assistance. Following the event, the 1MM project was launched, with the intention of providing 1 million meals. By linking people from various classes, 1MM built a human chain from food manufacturers such as rice mill owners and salt factory owners to the last girl in a brothel in Kolkata, Bihar and Assam. The initiative aimed to serve communities that were the most susceptible during the pandemic; perception and current events suggest that these are mostly immigrants and other socially/economically weaker sections.
What difference did the food distribution make in the life of the beneficiaries and why shall people donate to these organisations?
The answer to this question, I would say, is that an act of kindness has a huge impact. Apart from giving underprivileged children an opportunity to change their condition and alleviate the challenges they face in their everyday lives, contributing to their lives gives you a sense of happiness and fulfilment. Donating to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like 1MM who seek to help those with scarce resources is the most effective way to contribute to society as a whole.
1MM is working hard to fill in the loop in the Indian Success Story. Their work aims to ensure that children and their families have access to quality healthcare, education, a protected climate, economic and social security, and that their basic human rights are respected.
By taking appropriate steps and adhering to social distancing laws, the 1MM team was able to keep themselves and their families safe while still contributing to the community. The delivery of the 1 MM initiative necessitated a diverse range of staff, each collaborating with a task team project manager to ensure that food was delivered to beneficiaries on schedule.
Apne Aap Women International’s 1MM food drive was a huge success, exceeding its original target by a wide margin. In the middle of all of this, it is entirely appropriate to provide financial assistance to 1MM that are doing excellent work on the field. This way, individuals will be a change-maker without having to go on the line of work.