he women in the area, similar to last year, were in dire need and were anxiously waiting for help. Sadhu Vaswani Mission, as immediate assistance, with the cooperation of the police authorities, distributed 1000 ration kits to them. Each ration kit consists of 5kg wheat flour, 5kg rice, 1kg dal, 1kg pulses, 1kg poha/sabudana/suji, 1kg sugar, 1litre cooking oil, and 250gms tea. The ration kit can last for an average of 15+ days.
“While we are carrying out sevas in the city and suburbs, we felt it necessary that we help these sisters in these difficult times. A survey was conducted with the help of the police officials for the precise requirement. Then, we immediately swung into action,” said a Mission official. “We began with the packing of the ration kits with 16 volunteers and completed it within minimal breaks so the next step of distribution could be expedited. Simultaneously, the police officials allotted and distributed coupons to the women,” he continued.
On 21st April morning, the loading of ration kits into the Mission van followed by a prayer led by Didi Krishna Kumari. At the designated location, coupon holders were queued up with adherence to social distancing and masking and only one beneficiary at a time was allowed to take the kits. Coupons also ensured that the kits reached the right hands and there was no duplication. Women with children were also given joy packets consisting of biscuits, toffees, and chips. Dr. Sanjay Shinde IPS, Additional Commissioner of Police, Pune also graced the occasion, joining in the labour of love and distributing kits with his own hands.
On 23rd April morning, about 200 transgenders were also given ration kits along with other women from the red-light area. Their children were again served, this time with fruit drinks and bananas. Dr. Priyanka Narnaware, Deputy Commissioner of Police, also graced the occasion and served ration kits with her own hands.
The beneficiaries were relieved at the timely sevas. “With the strict curfew, although the groceries are open for specific hours, the sisters are lacking finances to make even small purchases to feed themselves. The distribution came as a relief to them; the smile seen in their eyes was telling how grateful they were. To us, it is the Masters’ grace that brings respite to all those in need,” said a volunteer,
Given the severity of the second wave, safety measures are strictly adhered to by the volunteers. “We are using double masks — one disposable and another N95 with nitrile safety gloves. The police personnel ensured discipline and one of them even commented that this was the most orderly distribution, especially in these times, that they have come across,” said a volunteer. A total of 20 volunteers executed the distributions.
The Mission will be providing them with hygiene kits including soaps next week. In addition, another transgender community area will be provided with rations.
With the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic spreading and surpassing the peaks of the first wave at 300,000+ is severely impacting the poor. To counter this challenge, Sadhu Vaswani Mission has once again risen to the occasion and is multiplying its seva efforts to reach the poor and needy, daily wagers and helpless ones to provide for their basic necessities.