Image: Northeast Now

Individuals and NGOs in eastern Assam’s Jorhat are working at the grassroots to provide succour to the daily wagers amid COVID-19 lockdown.

The first to begin handing out doles was Raju Goyal, proprietor of Anamika Motors, right after the lockdown came into force from March 25.

He has given packets containing rice, mustard oil, salt, potatoes and lentils to more than 400 families.

Goyal said he was joined in his endeavour by two friends Anand Agarwal of Shankar Bearings and Sunil Agarwal.

“I had begun by declaring that I’d feed 25 families but ended up with many more with help of my friends,” he said.

In the meantime, Zomato Feeding India – Jorhat Chapter started ‘Feed The Daily Wager Project’ in the city and has distributed raw grains kit to the affected daily wagers and their families at Tocklai tea garden, Club Road – Chandan Nagar, Jail Road, AT Road, Ithakholi, Hirdaya Niramal Old Age Home,  Children Home orphanage and Nimatighat.

“We have a target of 4000 families and have also covered far flung areas under Titabar and Mariani Revenue Circles in the district,” said Sajib Borua, a member of Feeding India.

Each kit contains rice, lentil and salt.

Also read: Coronavirus lockdown: Ray of hope for delivery boys in Assam’s Jorhat

The North-East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS) is another non government organization which has swung into action to mitigate the impact of pandemic COVID-19 among the severely hit families of Jorhat.

“The financial support is being provided by Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a Swiss-based foundation,” Tirtha Prasad Saikia, a member of NEADS said.

NEADS has so far covered 50 extremely poor families in the tea garden and rural areas and the dry rations and hygiene kits include 10 kg rice, two kg pulses, five kg potato, two kg onion, two kg atta, one litre mustard oil, one packet soya, one kg salt, 200 gm of turmeric, one kg biscuit, two bathing soap and two pieces of detergent soap.

Also read: Assam: Good Samaritan to feed needy in Jorhat amid coronavirus lockdown

“NEADS will focus on public health preparedness, protection of people’s rights and mitigation of larger social and economic impacts in the face of such unprecedented crisis,” Saikia further said.

Founders of Geeta Gaushala along with Ankur Gupta, Gajanand Baheti, Surendra Bhattar and Shyam Sunder Rathi distributed kits among 350 families mostly belonging to the tea garden community.

Another organization, Hindu Yuba Chattra Parishad, distributed vegetables among the poor.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com