A few days ago, a resident of Jharkhand named Prem Das approached Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation through social media. Much to our amusement, he introduced himself as ‘Kapil ka fan Prem’.
We soon learnt that he is a die-hard fan of a stand-up comedian named Kapil Sharma. Nevertheless, Prem Das turned out to be a passionate social worker.
Prem requested us for funds so he could distribute winter blankets in a particularly impoverished village in Jharkhand – Amba village in Khunti area. He offered to carry out the sewa work on our behalf.
We were more than pleased to be able to give respite to the poor residents in the ongoing chilly month of December. We distributed about 150 blankets in this drive. Prem informed us that many beneficiaries were physically challenged. Many others did not have a roof over them.
It was nothing less than a dream-come-true opportunity for our team as we strive to reach to the poorest and the most needy. We hope that someday, we grow in size and resources to be able to provide such families with roofs over their heads too.
Prem has carried out two other drives for us. In Biru village of Simdega district in Jharkhand, several Divyangs were struggling with funds to buy ration. We readily gave out the funds. He istributed ration kits to at least ten such needy people.
Each kit had wheat flour, rice, dal, oil and vegetables that could last a week. Prem carried out the drive taking help from his local friends.
After the distribution, the group shared a video with us in which a sense of relief could be clearly seen on the faces of beneficiaries. The Divyangs thanked us profusely, and it was no less than bliss for us.
We, at Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation, are on constant lookout for self-motivated individuals such as Prem Das who can take our sewa to areas where our existing small team struggles to physically reach.
We, at Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation, feel blessed to have been able to help many poor and downtrodden families.
A substantial number of people have been able to bounce back in their lives with our support, and more continue to do so. Our help has taken multiple forms and addressed myriad needs and we have been egged on by the passion of our founders and the zeal of our volunteers, who have sought to ensure that no family in need of help is deprived of that help.
The following cases show the extent that we have gone to pull individuals and families out of trouble.
Meena Devi had lost her husband several years ago. She was facing extreme hardship during the Covid-induced lockdown as markets and offices were closed down and people were forced to stay back home. Meena was struggling to access even the most essential items. One of our volunteers, Kartikeya, met her during our lockdown rehabilitation drive, and after getting to know about Meena’s plight, we immediately made arrangements for essential items to be provided to her. Meena has never ceased to thank us for the timely support that we had offered.
The people of Harkhadi village in Uttar Pradesh also found us standing strongly behind them whenever a need arose.
We helped the villagers in getting a hand pump installed, which made the availability of water in the village smooth and easy. Considering how several villages in the country face a terrible water crisis and how people are forced to travel long distances to fetch water, installation of hand pumps is often considered to be a major rural development measure. The foundation also undertook a blanket distribution drive in the village, helping needy families.
The best part about this initiative was that the villagers readily volunteered to facilitate the distribution drive and the blankets reached the intended beneficiaries even though we had never met them one on one.
Then we had Devandita Mishra, a law student who had a major leg surgery. She approached us for help for travelling from Ghaziabad to Gorakhpur following her surgery. She said she had booked tickets for general class, but after her surgery, she realised she needed better coach and seats. She said she had run out of money.
We were more than happy to assist her.
A family from West Bengal came under duress as their minor daughter was kidnapped and brought to Delhi. The girl was rescued after intervention of national child commission. While our co-founder Swati Goel Sharma was covering the case for Swarajyamag.com, the girl’s father revealed he was very poor and struggling to make ends meet. He said he did not have enough money to even make rounds of the police station for formalities.
We immediately helped the father with an amount.
We undertook extensive campaigns to support the underprivileged sections with ration and food during the lockdown. Ankur Kumar was one such individual whom we helped. The differently-abled hails from the scheduled caste community.
A road accident had badly damaged his spine. During the lockdown, Ankur and his family were finding it difficult to make ends meet. We made arrangements for essential items and also approached the ministry of social justice and empowerment on Ankur’s behalf with an appeal for medical aid.
Another one of our lockdown beneficiaries was Ashok Mishra, a labourer. He was hit by the disappearance of day-to-day earnings during the lockdown. Our volunteers met him during our lockdown rehabilitation drive and provided him with ration. Even after that initial help, our volunteers stayed in touch with him and his family.
Our sewa also involved monetary assistance to the kin of a murder victim as the compensation provided by the government was taking a long time to arrive.
This refers to the infamous Loten Nishad murder case, in which a youth in Uttar Pradesh was killed by his neighbours for his comments blaming the Tablighi Jamaat for the spread of the coronavirus in the initial stage of the pandemic last year. Loten’s elder brother Birju told us that the family was in urgent need of money as the compensation of Rs 5 lakh announced by the government was not immediately available.
Our founders, who were closely tracking the case, decided to lend their support. Accordingly, Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation transferred a small amount to Birju’s wife so that the family could survive till it received the government compensation.
Our sewa during the lockdown involved crucial support to migrants, who were stuck away from home with employment and livelihoods quickly vanishing. Nithya, a Tamil migrant living in Delhi, contacted us as her family was struggling to access basic and essential supplies.
We made arrangements for ration and other essential items to be provided to her. The video she sent expressing her gratitude would remain with us as our biggest earning.
Today, we can proudly say that the tales of service rendered by us have spread far and wide, and many individuals, impressed by our record, have approached us for help.
The recently-widowed Pushpa was one such individual. A resident of the riot-hit region of Delhi, Pushpa had lost the breadwinner of the family. The lockdown brought about more troubles and her family was struggling to make arrangements for essential supplies.
Looking at how we had supported families in her area, she contacted us in the hope of receiving support. We made sure that she did not go empty-handed as part of the riot rehabilitation and lockdown rehabilitation drives.
Then there was the case of Kaila Devi‘s family going tlhrough severe financial hardship following her death. When we learnt about the family’s misfortunes, we rushed to provide whatever little help we could. We also shared the case with the appropriate authorities so that the family gets some relief.
The foundation thanks all its volunteers for working selflessly to realise the dream of our idols to wipe the tears of as many needy families as possible. Do support us so that we can carry on in our endeavours with vigour.
A 15-year-old girl, who went missing from the Loni area in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district was rescued after 10 days following sustained efforts by Sewa Nyaya Utthan team.
The minor girl, hailing from the Dalit community of Jatavs, had gone missing on March 16 this year. The family lodged a complaint at the Loni police station.
Although the police claimed to have found some leads and pinned on one Abid as the suspect, they had failed to find the girl even after a week. When Sewa Nyaya team learnt of the matter, a volunteer, Vishal, visited the family and recorded their video statement.
Sewa Nyaya co-founder Swati Goel Sharma shared the videos on social media. In the videos, the girl’s father Salekh Singh said he is not well off and allegedly did not receive whole-hearted support from the police. “If they know the name, what is the delay? Why can’t the police round up his relatives and question them sternly?” a sobbing Singh was seen saying in the video. He also said that he would commit suicide if his daughter was not rescued.
Sharma appealed to the chief of the National Child Commission, Priyank Kanoongo, to intervene. Subsequently, the commission sent a notice to the Ghaziabad Police on March 25, giving the links to the social media posts made by Sharma. The commission asked the police to provide an action taken report. On March 31, Singh informed Sharma that his daughter was rescued and that a few of her medical examinations were remaining.
Although our all-out efforts helped in bringing the abducted girl back, she had been sexually abused by the accused when he had the chance. The girl revealed that she was raped repeatedly and was about to be sold to a ‘Bangalan’ (Bengali). This was a case of kidnapping, rape and human trafficking.
The police booked the accused under sections 363 (kidnapping) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and also under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
In his video statement, Singh said that the police had made him run from pillar to post for registering his complaint. The police officer concerned chose not to comment on Singh’s complaint, saying that it was a matter of jurisdiction.
We at the Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation have always given utmost priority to interventions that save lives. We have not only rescued several girls but have also made sure to highlight every such case in which the police have been lackadaisical in their approach. Do support us so that we can continue to save girls in distress.