Like many other daily wage earners, Sablu Kumar had been battered by the Covid-induced lockdown and the resultant disappearance of livelihoods.
A migrant to Delhi in search of a better living, Sablu pulls a rickshaw in northeast Delhi. The same northeast Delhi, which was riven by riots in the early part of last year. We have been active in this part of the city and rescued several families who were on the verge of collapse, having borne the brunt of the riots, and then, the pandemic.
Sablu had been working hard, yet struggling to make both ends meet. The lockdown came as a crippling financial hit.
Sablu approached Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation for help during one of our ration distribution drives during the pandemic. He barely had any income. We provided him with a supply of ration. Not once, but twice.
With our help, he managed to get back on his feet to an extent, but then, the second Covid wave dealt a fiercer blow. It ate up his savings. Then, his wife was struck by typhoid. With no money to pay for the treatment, and also as a result of a shortage of medical supplies and doctors in government hospitals during the pandemic, his wife kept languishing at home.
The pandemic and especially its new instalment had bled Sablu dry. He approached Sewa Nyaya Foundation again, frantically calling for help. We obliged. We made arrangements for funds, medicines and other essential supplies. Till Sablu’s wife was unwell, we also fed the couple every day.
Sablu has struck quite a rapport with our sewa volunteer Kartikeya and visits him often. With an extended lockdown providing no respite from hardship, Sablu had taken to vegetable-vending, and whenever he passes by Kartikeya’s house, he stops and greets him.
This is really the bond that we share with the people whom we have supported. We treat them like family members, and that is the reason they call us first, whenever they are in trouble. This is something that gives us utmost satisfaction and makes our efforts worthwhile.