When it rains, give them cover
Rain just got a new meaning. An initiative titled Reaching All In Need or RAIN has been launched by NGO Beyond Smiles with an aim of reaching out to as many homeless kids as possible this monsoon. They will distribute raincoats, umbrellas and slippers to homeless kids who live near railway stations in the city. So, if you have umbrellas or raincoats that you don’t plan to use any longer, donate these to NGO Beyond Smiles, and you can be assured it will bring a smile to a homeless kid on a rainy day.
“There are about 36,000 street kids in the city who suffer every year due to the monsoons. Some shift to their villages for these three months, but many must endure the rain and others end up contracting water diseases,” says Dr Hetal Turakhia, who started the NGO in 2010. “Most of these kids live in groups in and around railway stations. Hence, we decided to reach out in these places,” she adds. The NGO will target kids between Colaba and Goregaon.
Apart from kids, they will also look at distributing raincoats to traffic cops. After approaching a few traffic police stations in the city, Beyond Smiles have received confirmations from stations in Sion, Andheri and Bandra. “These cops end up having full-time duties. Though they have raincoats, many are not in a great condition. Some are even torn. Even if they are bad shape, they don’t get a replacement till the next season. So we felt it necessary to donate raincoats to them as well. It will help if they have an extra pair. It’s much better to have a back up,” believes Turakhia. They will be supplying about 200 to 250 raincoats to the cops.
As regards children, the plan is to distribute raincoats and slippers. The umbrellas are for homeless adults and the aged. Since its inception, the NGO has undertaken many projects including breakfast for mentally challenged kids, oral health awareness camps, medical camps, girl child education and more. “This is the first time we are doing this drive; we hope to reach out to as many kids as possible,” shares Turakhia. They have two collection centres, where people can drop off raincoats and umbrellas. If you have a decent collection in any other part of the city, contact them and they will have it picked from your home.
Collection Centres: 45 Manoj Industrial Estate; 40 - A, GD Ambedkar Road, near Ram Mandir and Lalwani Printing Press, Wadala (10 am to 5.30 pm) and 601, Plaza Panchsheel, next to Dharam Palace, opposite Ghanasingh and Sons, Hughes Road (9 am to 7 pm)
Call: 9930699953 / 9820958880