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Umeed Project – Ray of hope during pandemic, helped 40948 families so far

On 25th of March, 2020, India saw herself going into a hitherto unheard of nationwide lockdown mode. This step by the Indian Government (albeit a correct and necessary measure) led to uncertainty amongst the majority of people. India, with its humongous unorganized sector, saw a mass exodus of migrant workers, the homeless, and the less privileged, and the spread of rampant confusion amongst them; the scope of this was unimaginable even for the Government.

In such uncertain circumstances, our organization, UMEED Project – an initiative started by Amir Siddiqui (Founder) in coalition of NGOs like Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, BSM, QasidFoundation, and BNS amongst others – started working as a Covid19 Food SOS resource to assist the Government in providing aid to all those affected by the lockdown.Umeed Project took up the task of providing food kits and other essentials to the homeless, internally displaced, daily wage laborers, women, children, the elderly citizens, widows, ragpickers, and commercial sex workers.

The team of Umeed Project came together, with volunteers joining in from various walks of life, to provide emergency relief kits that included packed food, ration, sanitary pads, essential medicines, masks, and emergency cash. A kit of 1 Week’s worth of supplies cost around INR 550 ($7) and the ones that would suffice for 3 weeks went up to INR 1650 ($23). With emergency calls for rations pouring in from migrant workers, daily wagers, disabled people, the homeless, within the first days of the lockdown, Umeed Project volunteers started responding to calls for aid all across Delhi. Arranging for funds became the need of the hour, as the team diversified its mission to help anyone and everyone in need all over the city. It was around this time that Umeed Project joined hands with an NGO run by a fellow organizer, Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (FPA), and started raising funds on, with the volunteers reaching out to their personal contacts to raise donations alongside their usual work of responding to emergency calls for help.

Umeed Project has been addressing the Covid19 Food SOS with:

  1. A fundraiser on to raise necessary donations to help provide the aforementioned emergency relief kits to the most vulnerable and underprivileged families.
  1. Distribution of the kits to each family with the help of 250 on-ground local volunteers with curfew passes.
  1. Community Kitchens that are set up at Mithapur, Badarpur and Sadar Bazar that serve lunch and dinner to 1000 people each
  1. Liaison with government authorities to identify the vulnerable families and provide relief for them. For example, the trans-Yamuna case of 5000 homeless people
  1. CSR grants to help with the allocation of resources across Delhi
  1. Spreading awareness of Covid19 prevention, social distancing, and hunger relief
  1. Partnerships with a network of NGOs in the Delhi Relief Collective to effectively manage the hunger crisis

To date, the Umeed Project team has managed to provide relief to 40,000+ families in 43 regions of Delhi, with 376,000+ cooked meals, 3 community kitchens, and rations that last for a week, and keep continuing to do so every day.

Umeed Project has also collaborated with 100+ artists to bring a varied number of online fundraisers to the homes of potential donors — that includes the musical fraternity supported Artists for a Cause, the series on Mental Health Awareness Pause for a Cause, and the more recent E-Mehfil supported by poets, actors, writers, and musicians ShayaranaUmeed.  Through these 3 initiatives alone, Umeed Project has raised over 1 lac in donations and strives to do more through the coming months.

Within the last two months, with COVID cases on the rise in the country, Umeed Project has provided a sustainable method of employment to underserved women by building its first women-led fabrication center to manufacture PPE kits, and also runs centers of free medical aid and free education for their children. The goal is to build at least one such center in every city in India by the end of March 2021 and then expanding to towns, giving a continual form of income to migrant families across India.

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