COVID-19:Organisations & Community Kitchens Around India Helping The Underprivileged During Lockdown

COVID-19:Organisations & Community Kitchens Around India Helping The Underprivileged During Lockdown
The Hindu

With 1553 new COVID-cases, India’s total number of coronavirus cases has reached 17,656, according to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The nation is in lockdown in order to contain the spread of the virus. At this critical point, however, daily-wage earners (including construction workers, street vendors, garland makers etc) are fast losing jobs and are unable to procure food and essential items. Many households are surviving on little to no food. However, the good part is that many NGOs and individuals have taken up the initiative of extending a helping hand to the underprivileged section of the society in order to help them tide over the crisis.

Here is a list of the individuals and organisations that have come forward in support, and the weblinks through which you can donate to them.

I. Sumanasa Foundation

Sumanasa Foundation is a non-governmental organisation working in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. They have called for contributions to fulfil a target of ₹ 20,000, in order to provide 100 kilograms of rice, 50 kilograms of dal, 45 litres of oil, 15 kilograms of salt, jeera, turmeric and chilli powder for the city’s community kitchens, run by the Greater Chennai Corporation.

You can donate to their cause here.


Yuva (Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action), a non-profit in Mumbai, is fundraising online to provide daily needs to over 2,000 families they surveyed in the metropolis. They require funding not only for food and groceries, but also for volunteers’ safety gear.

You can donate to their cause here.

III. SAFA Society

NGO Safa has been working with daily wagers like auto drivers, vendors and some members of the transgender community of Hyderabad for 11 years now, and also have a presence in Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi. Safa has been providing a standardised package of rations “that can sustain a family of four for about five days” in the hotspots that they have located around the city. “We identify two people in each basti (hamlet) to volunteer giving out these packets at each door, so as to avoid queues. We have also trained our volunteers about hygiene and social distancing,” she says. Safa has been doing this for a few days now, but since the lockdown came into effect, supplies are expected to dry out soon. The main bottleneck is that of permits, both for people and vehicles.

You can donate to their cause here.

IV. Hasiru Dala

Bengaluru-based NGO Hasiru Dala has been working with waste pickers in six towns and cities of Karnataka for 11 years now, including Bengaluru, Mysore and Hubli. They have been distributing food kits and children’s hygiene kits (including soap and handkerchiefs) since the beginning of the informal norms of social distancing. Before the lockdown was announced, they had managed to give out 260 food kits, each containing five kilograms of toor dal, some masoor dal, oil, soaps, chilli powder and jaggery, in addition to 25 kilograms of regular rice, or boiled rice, or maize or wheat flour to migrant workers. Hasiru Dala has further identified 2,500 vulnerable waste-pickers’ families ( who have no BPL/ration card, no public housing, no predictable income) in 6 cities/towns in Karnataka who need immediate support in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown.

They need funding to provide care kits consisting of dry rations (25 kg rice, 5 kg lentils, 2 litres of cooking oil, salt, chilli powder, 500 g ground nuts and 500 g jaggery) and soaps to last for 21 days, with each kit costing between ₹ 1600 including transport.

You can donate to their cause here.

V. CORO (Committee of Resource Organisations for Literacy)

The campaign ‘Help Daily Wage Earners hit by Coronavirus’ was started by Luis Miranda, President of the Board of Trustees at CORO, a 30-year old Mumbai-based NGO. This NGO works closely with the communities of daily wagers in Mumbai. In these times of crisis, it plans to distribute food packages, masks, sanitisers and soap to people who have been hit by the short-term closure of businesses.

You can donate to their cause here.

VI. Support the Daily Wage Earner

This is a citizen-led initiative by Riddhi Shah in Mumbai. The money raised through this fundraiser will provide masks, sanitizers, handwashing liquid and soaps as well as necessary items like food packets milk to the slums and kholis in Banganga, Lower Parel, Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Colaba Macchimar Nagar & Dhobi Ghat, Nepean Sea Road.

You can donate to the cause here.

VII. Pranyas Development Foundation

This NGO seeks to create awareness about the novel Coronavirus in slums and villages by going door-to-door and providing masks to families, all this while following the basic rules of hygiene and social distancing. This is a good initiative to bust all the myths surrounding the virus and provide accurate information.

You can donate to the cause here.

VIII. Zomato Feeding India

The not-for-profit started the ‘Feed the Daily Wager’ project after the announcement of the 21-day lockdown to provide food support to families of daily wage earners across cities, who might have lost out on employment in this time of crisis. With the aim to raise ₹ 50 crores, the project is slowly inching towards the halfway mark, by having amassed more than ₹ 17 crores in donation. Each meal kit, procured with the funds and costing ₹ 500, should last a family of five for a week and contains a combination of basic staples such as wheat flour, rice and two kinds of pulses. The non-profit has partnered with other NGOs and social enterprises working on the ground such as the Centre for Education and Health Research Organisation in Delhi and Balancing Bits in Gurugram, all this while following proper social distancing guidelines.

You can donate to the cause here.

IX. MCKS Food for the Hungry Foundation

It is a non-profit organisation based in New Delhi. Over the last 15 years, they have delivered more than 1,00,00,000 meals to those in need, in partnership with authorities across the country with over 20+ feeding that India’s informal workforce of 450 million cannot afford. With the government lockdown order and inadequate state provisions for food distribution, several families are sleeping hungry – in their homes, stranded at railway stations or state borders. To support their community in New Delhi during lockdown, they have increased capacity at the MCKS’ Kitchen and delivered 60,000+ nutritious cooked meals over the last 7 days. They continue to extend a helping hand to the underprivileged with help from the government.

You can donate to the cause here.

X. Helping Hands

Helping Hands initiated donating food for the homeless and poor people who can’t afford to buy food in this lockdown. We request you to donate food for the homeless and poor people who cannot afford to buy.

You can donate through their paytm/phonepe/tez no: 9182714452, 9951055020

XI. Goonj

In Maharashtra, one of the worst-hit Coronavirus hit states, Goonj’s team, together with on-ground volunteers, community workers, is running a community kitchen reaching out cooked food packets and also essential ration kits to migrant worker families. Goonj is also providing material and monetary support to 8+ partner grassroots organisations in Beed, Mumbai, Solapur,Pune and Kalyan. Many of these organisations have been working with Goonj for many years, on different development issues with rural communities.

You can donate to the cause here.

XII. Apnalaya

It is a secular voluntary organization, that has been building self-sustaining communities since 1973. They work with the most marginalized people dwelling in the slums of Mumbai. There are 4,200 children under 6 years of age at the center of Apnalaya’s Health Program. Their community volunteers from Shivaji Nagar are working tirelessly to ensure daily distribution of ration kits to households that have been largely affected by the lockdown. With their initiative #HelpaHelpingHand, they are creating a fundraiser to compensate each volunteer with ₹ 300 per day or, ₹ 9000 for 30 days per worker to support them & their family during this time of crisis.

You can donate to the cause here.

XIII. Feeding From Far

A social media chat between two former classmates culminated in a mega effort to feed thousands of daily wage earners and their families living in Baiganwadi, one of Mumbai’s poorest quarters located close to the Deonar dumping ground. For a week now restaurateur Paritosh Pant and lawyer Pooja Reddy who studied together have been feeding nutritious bhaji and four pavs each to 5000 people twice a day.

The idea of their project, “Feeding From Far” is to connect the concerned privileged class, who want to help, with those who need the help. The residents of Baiganwadi, Govandi, an area that is practically un-accessible, are predominantly daily wage workers who have been unable to feed themselves and their families since the lock-down. Since the time they had set up the kitchen, they had been able to prepare, pack and deliver to the doorstep, a minimum of 10000 meals each day.

You can donate to the cause here.

XIV. Adhikar Foundation

After the recent lockdown in Delhi, founder of Adhikar Foundation, Mohammad Anas, started reaching out to daily wage earners, rickshaw pullers and drivers in Jamia Nagar, Okhla. They are providing meals twice a day to 400 people. The Foundation is working with a restaurant to cook this food.

You can help Adhikar Foundation by donating at:
Adhikar Foundation
A/C- 430501000334
Phone Pay/Paytm- +91-8287059359

XV. Roti Ghar

Mumbai-based social activist Chinu Kwatra’s Roti Ghar has opened its kitchen to cook food for daily wage earners. They have delivered 1000 freshly-cooked meals to security guards, labourers, and rag pickers in Mumbai, Thane, Airoli, Bhiwandi. To ensure the safety of the volunteers, the organisation has steered clear of mass gatherings. The food is being distributed in packets using vans. The volunteers are being made to wear protective equipments such as masks, goggles, gloves, caps and are also being made to use sanitisers. Roti Ghar will provide these meals twice a day. Each meal costs ₹ 25.

You can donate to the cause to 9769181218 via Paytm or Google Pay.

XVI. Uday Foundation

Throughout last decade, Uday Foundation has been at the forefront in providing urgent relief materials and aid to the needy during natural calamities, crisis situations, extreme weather conditions etc. It is again standing strong during this global healthcare crisis posed due to Coronavirus. It is providing all necessary help and services to this vulnerable section of the society in the time of crisis.

You can donate to the cause here.

XVII. Ek Tara

It is a registered non-profit trust which reaches out to over 1,400 direct beneficiaries through its programmes on education, health, hygiene and nutrition and community engagement. They are helping the slum community (most of whom are daily wagers) by providing food and other essential supplies.

You can donate to the cause here.

XVIII. Women and Transgender Organisations Joint Action Committee

The committee has identified 200 transgender women in order to provide them with a monthly basic income of Rs. 5000 for the months of April and May. The beneficiaries have been prioritised to help those who are most at risk for COVID-19 (elderly or with existing health conditions), those who are HIV positive and those with dependents. The money will be transferred directly to their bank accounts.

Please donate so that we can help transgender people in Hyderabad provide for themselves and their families with food, medicine and other essential supplies to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can donate to the cause here.

XIX. Lockdown Relief Project

Members of Mumbai against CAA, a non-governmental organisation who had earlier been involved in the anti-CAA protests in the city has started a helpline to connect the organisations and individuals willing to help those in need of food, ration, shelters or medical help during the nationwide lockdown. The helpline is called ‘Lockdown Helpline Helpdesk’ and was established on 27th March. They are a team of 15 people on the front end, taking calls 24 hours, supported by another 8 people in the back end who help in collating a list of NGOs working in different areas. There is also a research group which studies, collates, interprets, translates Govt. and other departmental notifications and keeps all information live & up to date, so that they can be used by helpline volunteers to give the latest & most appropriate directions. They connect the callers to the NGO handling relief work in their area and ask them to deliver either ration to their location or else cooked food, therefore seeing to it that they at least get food in some form.

Their helpline number is 9319371656

You can contact Richard at for more information.

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