The year 2020 would be remembered as one of the darkest in human history when a pandemic brought the world to its knees. The economy screeched to a grinding halt as people spooked by the deadly coronavirus ran into the shelter of their homes.
Livelihoods passed quickly from sight. Families were pushed to joblessness and, as a result of that, hopelessness. Managing two square meals a day became a struggle for more and more people. The poor and downtrodden were the worst hit, if not by the infection per se, but certainly by the economic after-effects of the pandemic.
For the people of Delhi, this came as a double whammy after the communal clashes over a contentious piece of legislation.
Ajay Singh from the capital’s Shiv Vihar area was one such individual who stared at a grim future after the events in the early part of last year. He used to sell vegetables in the area and saw his small business being severely dented as a result of the Covid-induced lockdown.
The volunteers of the Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation met Ajay and his family during a ration distribution drive. The foundation arranged for a ration kit for the family and kept in constant touch with the family even after handing over the first ration kit.
Ajay has now got back to work and continues to meet our volunteer Kartikeya, with whom he has struck a strong rapport. He never tires to thank us for providing support when he needed it the most.
When you have gone through hell, you don’t want others to do so. When you have seen misery from close quarters, you want to protect others from them. Many people from the underprivileged sections of society, whom the Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation had helped following the Delhi riots and also during the lockdown, had turned into good samaritans, volunteering to steer people out of despair.
One such case is that of Vijay Kashyap. We had helped him thrice after the riots and he became a part of our sewa initiatives as a full-time volunteer during the lockdown. Indeed, we met many families in northeast Delhi, especially in the Shiv Vihar area, who received our help. Northeast Delhi is home to many daily wagers who work in the nearby Gandhi Nagar area, which is known for its labour market. The area has been our karma bhoomi where we have conducted most of our relief drives. This part of the capital was one of the areas worst affected by the riots.
Vijay, who turned into our sahyogi, having been inspired by our sewa, met many families in his area that were struggling to make ends meet. One example stands out. Prem Kant, a daily wager, received multiple burn injuries during the riots and was bedridden. With the sole breadwinner out of action, Prem Kant’s family was in dire straits. Vijay shared the story of Prem Kant’s woes with our founders.
The Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation provided Prem Kant and his family with a ration kit. We met the family again after that and ensured full support. We are grateful to Vijay, who rendered exemplary service as a sahyogi during our relief campaigns.
One of our biggest achievements has been the creation of human chains, whereby our beneficiaries have been helping each other, if not monetarily then emotionally, setting up a significant support structure in the process.