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When you live a comfortable life and enjoy a privileged position it becomes your duty to lift others and make a difference in society. History has provided us with powerful evidence that no matter how grave a problem is, there is always a solution when we stand united.
Sharing the same idea through their initiative, Wockhardt Foundation, a non-profit organisation has started the Anaaj+ programme. It will be implemented by the Corona Warriors, who will support underprivileged families through their hard-earned money and through those in their networks.
In an exclusive interview, Dr Huzaifa Khorakiwala, CEO and Trustee, Wockhardt Foundation shares with Boldsky how she along with her team has cut through the chaos amid COVID-19, got engaged in social service and human welfare activities, and are doing their bit for the upliftment of the poor.
On asking how the idea behind Anaaj+ was conceptualised, Dr Khorakiwala says it was a collective idea of the team to start this programme to help those affected by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns. "While the lockdowns were necessary to ensure public health and safety, it also resulted in people losing their livelihood and thereby being unable to afford the essentials required to run their homes. It was therefore imperative for us to recognise the need of the hour and take action by reaching out and helping others," she says.
The programme entails distribution of ration and essential item kits worth INR 1,100 each to households in the slums of Mumbai. Each kit includes 5 kg rice, 5 kg wheat flour, lentils, sugar, salt, tea leaves and soap. Currently, this programme is only being implemented in Mumbai by the staff of this foundation and the volunteers. However, Dr Khorakiwala feels that with the right resources and partners, they can implement it in other cities, too.
What's more interesting about this initiative is that you can 'Adopt A Slum'. The NGO's partners can select or adopt a slum of their choice. This not only provides a level of transparency but also allows the partners to understand, identify with and relate to their beneficiaries or families that they are supporting.
Dr Khorakiwala says, "Our 'Corona Warrior' refers to any individual, corporate or institution that has sponsored one or more families with a month's supply of groceries, etc. Any person, irrespective of their profession, can become a Corona Warrior by registering on our website www.fight-corona.net and sponsor a family." They can also get in touch with Wockhardt Foundation directly at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The pandemic has turned out to be a testing time for everyone, with each person going through their own hardships. But some may have been more fortunate or better equipped and resourced than others in dealing with their problems.
It is also truly commendable to see people from all walks of life come together to help others. However, the effects of this pandemic are long-term and we need to continue to help in whatever way we can - whether financial, physical, emotional, and so on. People are only just starting to rebuild their lives and we as a society need to work together to support them. Small collective efforts can bring about a big change.
"The Anaaj+ programme has managed to achieve this by providing 4,730 families with a month's supply of groceries and toiletries. All these families are from the slums in Mumbai and we are grateful to all those who have selflessly come forward and helped these people," adds Dr Khorakiwala before concluding, "The aim is to provide 'service with love' and to ensure that we bring a smile to each person."