The community response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been outstanding, with many members of the LSE community getting involved in their local area. Prasham Kothari (MSc in International Social and Public Policy, 2019) set up a campaign to raise funds in order to support his local community in Mumbai, read on to find out more…
COVID-19 put a stop to life the way we know it and some were affected more than
others. As soon as the lockdown began daily wage workers feared not only for their life but also for survival. I live in Mumbai’s D-Ward (India) which houses some of the most affluent individuals of society but is also home to large slum areas where people fight to make ends meet. Once the lockdown started, the government ration stores in the area shut down as it was one most affected areas, and many in need did not receive the benefits the government had promised.
This is when I decided to initiate a campaign to raise funds for food kits, which contained various essential items such as rice, pulses, salt, sugar, and other such ingredients. A kit would feed a family of 5 for a month and I set out to support 500 families initially. It was overwhelming to see the support I received from friends, my fellow LSE alumni, and family across the world. I also took the support of the Mumbai Police and Municipal Corporation to create lists of migrant workers and people who were yet to receive food support. In addition, we also supplied health workers and police officers with face shields and sanitizers.
I personally distributed each kit going into the slum areas and this experience was eye-opening for me as I have lived here for 23 years and had no idea that in the backdrop of the rich skyscrapers existed such a large network of slums. I was taken aback by the striking inequality that existed right next to me and this inspired me even more. I am happy to say that I was able to double my initial goal and support 1000 families in a short period of time. This initiative also inspired others to do the same in their communities and it was heartening to see it spread. I wish that the LSE community will continue to support people across the world in whatever way we can because in these trying times even a small action has a large positive outcome.
To support the community around you is the greatest form of service that one can undertake in such times and the kind of social solidarity and togetherness I have witnessed has made me believe that it may take time, but together we will definitely get through this crisis.
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