The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in India led to the imposition of a nation-wide lockdown on March 25, 2020. This global crisis currently underway across the globe severely affected the livelihood and the survival of the migrant labourers and their families across the entire country. To lend a helping hand to the initiatives of the government a volunteer group from within our campus community consisting of students, staff and faculty was created to help out the underprivileged sections of our society. Initially we started out by supplying cooked meal packets at the brick kilns in the Choubeypur area of Kanpur Nagar. After supplying more than 4000+ meal packets over the first week we realized the importance of providing raw rations to the migrant labourers. These workers and their families hailing from Bihar and Jharkhand did not have access to rations supplied by the state government. With the government also ordering re-opening of the brick kilns our efforts were most needed
to support and supplement the meagre earnings of these migrant workers. With severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, accessibility of raw rations was a problem for the migrant workers.
Starting April 6, 2020, IIT Kanpur volunteer group started supplying uncooked raw food to the families of the brick kiln workers. Over the next 2 months we have supplied more than 10 tons of rations in Choubeypur, Nankari, Lodhar and Barasarohi areas of Kanpur Nagar. The ration packets consist of wheat flour, rice, pulses, oil, salt and spices. Our support efforts have touched the lives of more than 1000 families. Apart from these efforts we also supplemented the community kitchens operating the vicinity of campus by providing them with raw material support. Our group has distributed nearly 2 tons of rations to these community kitchens to help them continue supplying food packets to the needy. In addition to the ration distribution, we have attempted to sensitise the recipients on the need to maintain personal and general hygiene by distributing soaps. We also informed and raised awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic and the precautions to be observed such as social distancing to prevent the spread of the disease.
Lastly, this humungous distribution effort would not have been possible without the active support and cooperation of all sections of our campus. IIT Kanpur administration especially our Director, Prof. Karandikar enthusiastically supported this community initiative by providing logistics support and his willingness to iron out the problems faced including helping in obtaining permissions from the district administration for these efforts. Our alumni, students, staff and faculty generously contributed towards this cause to help us make a small difference to the lives of the migrant workers. We hope that we with the continuing support of our community our efforts would continue until the end of lockdown as well as restoration of some normalcy in the life of the common person.