Get creative for Covid relief

Updated: May 22, 2020, 20:20 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

Bake a cheesecake, get a personalised birthday wish or take a screenwriting class in return for a donation. Here's a selection of charities we love.

A screenwriting session in progress
A screenwriting session in progress

For a home-cooked meal

Meals ready to be packed
Meals ready to be packed

Hena Widhani, make-up artiste

In the lockdown, we are comfortable at home and have everything we need home-delivered. But, that's not the case with so many others. I wanted to contribute but there is only so much I can do on my own," says Hena Widhani, a Bandra-based make-up artiste. She looked to her other passion and decided to cook. It began with circulating a message on WhatsApp with friends and acquaintances and she rustled up a batch of 10 meals that were picked by those who opted to. "People can contribute a minimum of R1,000 to any charity of their choice, share a screenshot and I'll have a meal booked for them," she says adding that she provides them with a two-day window to ensure older donations don't creep in and the funds are directed to the crisis of the hour. She has so far cooked Chinese and Mexican meals, Burmese khow suey and will be sending out 60 butter chicken meals (paneer for the vegetarians) today. "For those worried about ordering food in, I take utmost care of hygiene, and sanitise packages and surfaces as much as I can," she assures.


Log on to @henaskitchensecrets on Instagram

Learn screenwriting for a cause


Satyanshu Singh, filmmaker

It was on March 22 (the day of the Janta curfew), his birthday, that filmmaker Satyanshu Singh realised that the world was not going to be the same again. The migrant crisis in Delhi had begun, and Singh saw the effects of the pandemic at close quarters through his wife who works as a doctor in a BMC hospital. "I knew I had to do something but had my limitations with contributing personally in monetary terms," he says. Having taught screenwriting for nearly a decade now, he started online sessions on April 1. "I made a list of charities, starting with the bigger ones like Goonj and Mumbai-based Sneha. There were a few funds initiated by the film industry, a fund for animals and one for nomadic tribes in Marathwada. Basically, the cost of a four-to-five-hour session is R1,000, and I want participants to donate the amount to one of the charities from the list," he says. So far, Singh has raised R21 lakh, and plans to continue these sessions till May 31. Each lecture, meant for both beginners and professionals, is a unit in itself and a description of the subjects covered allows you to choose. Singh brings in guests speakers and has had Vinay Pathak, Hardik Mehta and Anjum Rajabali appear so far. The last session will also feature a cinema quiz in partnership with
Nexus Consultants.

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Inspired frames


Ronny Sen, artist

Filmmaker and photographer Ronny Sen who has been urging people to donate towards COVID-relief in exchange for a photograph conceptualised and shot for them. "They need to send me a phrase, a word or a line from a song and I interpret that as a photograph," he says. Sen has taken up 10 such requests so far with a donation of R10,000 each.

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For a song


Chinmayi Sripaada, singer

Having always received requests for personalised wishes, Chinmayi Sripaada decided to monetise this for donations. Donate directly to a family in need and she shares a personalised video. Sripaada has a database of families across the country and has supported over 1,100 families through 1,800 videos so far.


Mango cheesecake for all


Radhika Misra, PR executive

Every year during mango season, this PR professional makes what she calls her original 'World famous in Bangalore eggless, no bake mango cheesecake'. A tried-and-tested recipe that uses simple home ingredients and yoghurt instead of cream cheese, was developed over years of experiments. A batch of mangoes delivered to her housing society in Bengaluru, led her to make one and post it on Instagram. "Many people began asking for the recipe," says Radhika Misra, former pastry chef and now PR executive. "Around the same time, I heard that Parikrama Humanity Foundation [a Bengaluru-based NGO] I volunteer with was raising funds for weekly ration kits students. So, I told people I'd give them the recipe in exchange for a donation," she adds. No amount is too small for her and all you need to do is share a screenshot and you will receive a document with the step-by-step directions and illustrations to go with it. "It is about the joy of sharing, and I want people to experience it too. The only way I know is through food," she says. Misra has raised R2.5 lakh with over a hundred donors so far.

Log on to @radhikamisra1 on Instagram

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