Mumbai: Foodgrain shortage hits relief effort on the ground

Updated: 25 March, 2020 12:29 IST | Shweta Shiware | Mumbai

Nalini Naegamvala of beauty salon Nalini and Yasmin began an initiative to help daily wagers but has been met by food shortages

Nalini Naegamvala
Nalini Naegamvala

Nalini Naegamvala is known as much for her contribution to Mumbai's beauty salon industry as she is for her social activism. It was sometime around last week that Nalini Naegamvala of the famed beauty salon Nalini and Yasmin decided to help families from lesser privileged backgrounds with essential supplies like pulses, cooking oil, biscuits and milk to tide over the difficult times, but met with an unexpected roadblock.

"There are so many families living in slums who are struggling to make ends meet in these trying times. The men generally work as daily wage workers, while the women work as house-helps — both have to stay at home. How do they make ends meet, and feed themselves and their kids?" said Naegamvala. With some help from her old friend — activist Anandini Thakoor and encouragement from filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, she began crowd-funding and managed to get like-minded friends and acquaintances to contribute towards the cause.

Dilbur Parakh, trustee at Aseema, a charitable trust that works with municipal schools in Pali Chimbai, Santacruz and Kherwadi, stepped in to help her with a list of 24 families who would benefit from the weekly ration. Naegamvala accounted for everything except a shortage of supplies at grocery stores. "I called Sahakari Bhandar last Friday, but they were shut for a few days. I checked on Amazon and Flipkart but they had put a cap on items per person. I wanted to buy at least 30 packets of dal, but I wasn't allowed," she says.

Naegamvala had no choice but to alter her plans. "There are 24 families waiting to get ration but I'll now have to contribute via cash, which I will hand over to YWCA at Bandra along with a list of names provided by Dilbur Parakh. Senior citizens are not allowed to go out, else I would have gone there personally," she added with a laugh.

Naegamvala will support each family with Rs 1,000, and is determined to continue funding the ration.

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First Published: 25 March, 2020 07:20 IST

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