BY ARCHANA SHARMA
Jaipur, April 19 (IANS) A 67-year-old Rajasthan farmer Paburam Manda has donated his entire life savings worth Rs 50 lakh to distribute food kits among the needy to ensure no one is left hungry during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Till Friday, he distributed food-kits to 6,500 families and has inspired many more people to join the chain who have rose to help the destitute in these challenging times.
Hailing from Osian in Jodhpur district, Paburam says, “Farmers make the backbone of our country who are adept in dealing with adversities amid fewer resources. Hence in these testing times, we have decided to stand up for the nation the same way as our Army does. As my country needs me at this time, I am doing my best,” he says.
His wife Munny Devi is equally supportive and has no issues in donating the entire life savings, “We can earn more if we live longer. We should contribute to ensure no one dies to disease and hunger,” she says.
His son, Ramniwas Manda, says, “We have identified 6,000 such families initially who are daily wagers or migrants stuck in Osian and are providing doorstep delivery of food to them.
“One food kit has sufficient food to suffice the hunger of five members and could last for 10 days. It comes with 10 kg flour, 1 kg pulses, 1 kg oil along with biscuits, soap and spices. With lockdown extension, there are more needy families coming up and hence have already benefited 6,500 families.
Overall, 83 such villages have been shortlisted and a comprehensive list of needy families is made with the help of administration, volunteers and Panchayat staff. As administration is a little engaged in other tasks, we are receiving full cooperation from volunteers and Gram Panchayat officials.
We started this door step food delivery drive from April 2 when we came to know that thousands of families are starving during lockdown. Till Friday, we have distributed food kits to 6,500 families, he says adding, “Now, more people have started coming up to extend a helping hand in this drive.”
Sanwarji, from Ballarwa gram panchayat in Tibri tehsil, is one among those who are inspired from the dedication of this farmer family.
“We were inspired looking at the dedication of this family who came to our village to donate foodkits to the needy. We sta with them and have made a group fo seven to join hands with them. If each one of us stand together with them at gram panchayat level, no one will die hungry,” Sanwarji told IANS adding we are giving vegetables and food to needy families at 4-day interval.
Ramviwas says, “We have inspired such people to make self-help chains and help 5-10 families each day. As lockdown has increased, there are more families coming up who need such help as their saving is exhausted. If we all stand up together, no one will die of hunger in tough times of Covid-19 pandemic.” he says.
BY ARCHANA SHARMA