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Over 2,300 families and 800 migrant workers received support from a team of 80 Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, or IIM Ahmedabad, volunteers during COVID-19. The team of researchers and IIM Ahmedabad staff have aided low-income families and migrant workers by providing ration kits, financial aid, setting-up community kitchens, and helping migrant workers reach their hometown during the lockdown, an official release by the institute said.
“A total of about Rs 14 lakh was raised for the entire work through different channels. The major contributions were by the IIMA staff and IIMA community. A fundraising campaign was also launched on crowdfunding platform Ketto.org and about Rs 3 lakh were raised...an online workshop conducted by an IIMA Alumnus also raised about Rs 1.2 lakh, with another one, conducted by the PGP students raising over Rs 20 thousand,” a statement from IIM Ahmedabad said.
“The goal of this relief work was to reach out to those falling through the cracks of government and other civil societies’ efforts,” the statement added.
According to the statement, volunteers from Prayaaas, Student-Mediated Initiative for Learning to Excel (SMILE) and Right to Education Resource Centre (RTERC) conducted a survey in areas with poor households to identify and “provide help to those who need it the most”.
As per the survey results, the team divided households into Red, Orange, Yellow, and Green categories.
“The survey indicated that about 85% of the households were not earning a regular income, about 54% households had reduced the number of meals consumed per day and many had difficulties in procurement of Ration via PDS,” the official statement said.
“The data collected from the survey helped identify the specific problems faced by the households and the number and location of households which needed help the most and this was used for planning the relief work,” the statement added.
Based on the survey results, the volunteers distributed more than 550 ration kits over a period of two months in different parts of Ahmedabad.
“At the places where direct ration kits couldn’t be supplied, money was either transferred directly to the accounts of the families or it was given to the nearby Ration shop from which families could then obtain ration free of cost. About Rs 2.3 lakh was sent directly to households to aid them,” IIM Ahmedabad said in a statement.
“Within two days of the lockdown, volunteers supported a community worker Ajaz Sheikh, to help map out clusters of worksites where migrant workers were stranded without any food or income and raising funds to help support families,” the statement said.
The team identified over 252 families in eastern parts of Ahmedabad and raised funds to support them with the help of local police.
“The team has also been involved in helping migrants getting lockdown-exempt passes made, registration, digitizing data and coordinating with the governments of Gujarat and Jharkhand for easy passage of migrants. The team has so far assisted around 800 people in getting train tickets, funds for bus tickets and arranging private transport. The team raised around Rs 5 lakh for travel of 112 migrant workers from Bihar and Jharkhand,” IIM Ahmedabad said in a statement.