The ongoing turmoil of the migrant workers is a humanitarian crisis that is now the symbol of dire helplessness and abject suffering that India’s poor has had to witness. Amidst such trying times, organisations have come forth to do their bit in easing the troubles of the migrant workers. In this feature, we explore the initiative undertaken by Delhi Cargo Service Centre(DCSC) in organising a food distribution campaign aimed at ensuring that workers within their reach do not go hungry.
In a bid to offer support and help to the migrant labourers who have been reeling under extreme turmoil to go back home, the Delhi Cargo Service Centre(DCSC) has come up with a food distribution campaign to do their bit in easing the troubles of the migrant workers.
The staff at DCSC came out in solidarity and strong support, to do their part in helping the workers with food.
While speaking on the campaign, Mr Avinash Razdan, CEO, DCSC, said “The plight of poor labourers was unbearable to look at. From and on my way to the office, I would see hordes of them walking on foot towards their native places, some of the places are more than 1000 km away. That’s when I assembled everyone in the office and called upon them to join hands to provide some help to these unfortunate people. Our men and women were more than eager to help. “
Food like lentils, biscuits, water bottles, glucose, channa along with bread, was purchased in bulk, which was distributed in four cars three times a day- thus making as much as twelve trips per day.
So far, DCSC has distributed around 600 food packets and as of today, they will distribute around 1000 packets, Mr Razdan said.
Not only limited to food packets, the staff has segregated the task of getting food and distributing amongst themselves quite systematically. The women employees bring packed parathas/puris etc from home, while the men have taken the charge to distribute this food. Also, many employees have resorted to carrying several food packets in their cars and distributed them to migrants whom they met on the roads while they returned to their homes after office.
The staff resorted to purchasing packed food, since they were worried about cooked food getting spoilt in the heat.
“The packedfood is enough to provide a square meal to a family of four”, he shared. Each packed food contains two large bread loaves, 500 gms of roasted channa, one bottle of jam, four packets of biscuits, one packet of Glucose and one litre water bottle in each meal packet.
The employees at DCSC have gone an extra mile in doing their part. One of the lady colleagues offered to make parathas at home, and was successful in packing 340 paranthas at home by staying awake the entire night, stated Mr Razdan quite proudly, at the feat achieved by the staff.
The primary challenge in organizing the food distribution campaign was procuring the packed food in bulk, as the official stated.
So far, DCSC has been successful in distributing 1600 food packets in three days. This meant sourcing 3200 bread loaves, 6400 packets of buiscuits, 1600 bottles of jam, 1600 packets of glucose, 800 kgs of roasted channa and 1600 bottles of water.
“The staff worked relentlessly in organizing the first lot of the supplies within four hours on the first day – that too when many wholesaler’s shops aren’t open and those who are open have run out of stocks. Amazing people indeed!“, said Mr Razdan.
Distribution in adherence to safety norms:
The responsibility of distributing the food packages was divided equally amongst the staff, and social distancing was strictly observed.
Ten cars were arranged for distribution of the food, and these cars spread out in various directions in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Karnal bypass, Rohtak Road and Badarpur.
The entire campaign was organized by adhering to the safety protocol.
Each car had three, and masks and hand gloves were made mandatory for the staff, who were clothed in their DCSC uniforms. There was wholehearted participation by the staff, men and women alike, who did not flinch before driving off to far directions.
Each team returned with a heart wrenching and tragic story of the migrants.
In a poignant tone, Mr Razdan shared his predicament,”Did we let down our own countrymen in their hour of need? This question haunts each one of us at DCSC.”
The lockdown has dealt a severe blow on the livelihoods of tens of thousands of labourers, who were left with no source of income upon the lockdown announced to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The looming fear of hunger forced men, women and children into undertaking arduous journeys back to their villages – by cycling or hitching rides, and the most extreme of all- walking on foot.