Last week, Rohit Kumar, a teacher based in Delhi, send an appeal on social media for help to arrange a bus to send helpless migrants back to their villages in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. Within a few days since he made the appeal, Mr Kumar was able to raise four lakh rupees' and able to send 100 migrant workers home. Rohit has started two initiatives -- 'Destination Home' and 'Common Citizen's Relief' -- along with his entrepreneur friend Zartab, whom he met while helping victims of Delhi violence earlier this year.
"We put out an appeal on social media and said we would like to send helpless migrants back to their villages, one bus at a time. Would you help us? Within a few days, we were able to fund raise a few lakh rupees," narrates Mr Kumar on his initaive to help migrant workers who have been stranded in Delhi.
"A bus was hired to collect these workers from different parts of the city and took them to a screening centre where they were medically screened and found fit to travel. This is the least we ordinary citizens could have done from our limited resources to ease the suffering of these migrant workers," said Zartab, who works as a lecturer.
The two have now raised funds for 10 buses that can transport 350 people. The 'Collective Relief Network' is also providing food packets to the poor.
The two initiatives help the migrant workers with transport and ration. 'Destination Home' is an initiative that allows common people to pool in money ...which is then used to hire buses to help stranded labourers to go back home.
Raju, a daily wage labourer from Sitapur, was among those who boarded the bus to their home. "I work as a daily wageworker in Delhi. I did not have any ration left on me. I just want to go back home. I thank those people who have contributed towards us so we could go back home," he said.
We did not have any ration at home. We just wanted to return home,' said Jagdamba, another labourer on way home.
From donations ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 50,000 and no big sponsors, the two ordinary relief aid workers have managed to raise lakhs of rupees doing their bit to help migrants desperate to reach home.