Covid-19 hero! Woman provides meals for 1800 Telangana immigrants stranded in Mumbai amid lockdown

Updated: Apr 03, 2020, 18:14 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

To ensure that the migrants don't go hungry, the woman goes to Vashi wholesale market, loads a truck with grains and other necessary items and drops the provisions at various locations in the city where the workers were stranded

It all started with a distress call Shanthi Singh Chauhan received in the wee hours of the March 27, 2020. The SOS call was from a friend Ajaya who said that more than 1,800 people were held up in various parts of the city due to the lock down and they had not eaten for the whole day. The friend also also told her that among the stranded lot were old people, kids and women, families of immigrant workers from Telengana.

"We were pleasantly surprised to learn that most of heavy duty lifting work in Mumbai is done by immigrant workers from Telangana, and now these workers were stranded because of the lockdown and they were trying to reach out to the Telengana government for support. We then took the situation in control with support of the Maharashtra government & International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and settled the matter by evening," said Shanthi S Chauhan.

Incidentally, on that same day the government had announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package aimed at providing a safety net for those hit the hardest by the COVID-19 lockdown. The government had also announced that 800 million people will get free cereals and cooking gas apart from cash through direct transfers for three months. The 21-day lockdown began on March 25.

Chauhan decided to take the responsibility and ensure that all the migrants are fed and taken care during the lockdown. She went to the wholesale market in Vashi and loaded a truck with grains and other necessary items and dropped the provisions off at Goregaon, 4 Bungalows, Versova, Bandra East, Navpada and Bharatnagar where the migrants were stranded.

She said" This will make sure that several families will be provided with food and security till the lockdown period." She also thanked the BMC and the Mumbai police for going out of of their way to help.  She was grateful to her friends who contributed to make this happen, and also thanked others from India and abroad for helping to make this happen.

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