As the world is gripped by the grave Corona pandemic, we at Akanksha are all standing together as one and are committed to doing whatever it takes to overcome the challenges that our children are facing. Our children belong to families whose earning members work as daily wagers, house helps, auto drivers, etc. The lockdown has affected them and they are struggling to make ends meet.
Project Karuna is Akanksha’s effort towards ensuring that the families of all of our students and alumni are well supported during this time of crisis.
For this purpose, a core team of 10-15 members was formed to lead the efforts, comprising of members from Mumbai and Pune. The task force for Project Karuna was formed on 30th March and has been working with an aim to provide essential supplies to 2000 Akanksha families.
The team is striving to ensure every family in need is supported in any way required. Our dedicated social workers communicate with our parents on a daily basis and are sharing safety tips and precautionary measures to be undertaken in the communities. The government guidelines, helpline numbers and lockdown news are shared regularly with them. The team has created an ecosystem for the support and mental well being of the families.
For ensuring smooth operation and logistics, the team structured the communities and identified the most vulnerable families to cater to first, and then to the other families. In the first phase of operations, around 650 families in Pune and PCMC, and 700 families in Mumbai were given packets of daily supplies consisting of items like rice, pulses, flour, sugar, tea powder and oil. This was done by collaborating with some organizations like Robin Hood Army, Mukul Madhav Foundation, Rotary Club, and Pratham. While some of these organizations are helping us to deliver supplies to the families, in other cases we have tied up with local grocery vendors. Distribution of packets is being coordinated by the team in a systematic manner.
We have formed the Akanksha COVID Relief Fund to get further help for our communities. Through an internal fundraising program, we have raised over Rs. 6 lakhs till now by way of employee contributions.
We are happy to report that our team has reached out to over 3000 families across Pune and Mumbai, and provided them with groceries and hygiene packets. Our aim till June is to reach out to 5500 families and raise 50 lakhs to ensure our children and their families are taken care of.
With the uncertainty of the lockdown and the spread of the virus in some of our communities, we need sustained efforts to support the families. Our efforts will continue to provide for the families of our students and alumni.
While we are reaching out to the most vulnerable families of Akanksha, our school teams are ensuring that the learning of our students continues. Our teachers are regularly in touch with students and are engaging in online learning. Even our counsellors are there for our children and parents to provide the much needed emotional support during this trying time.
We hope to emerge stronger together through this.