(This post is the first in a series of posts which will aim at showcasing young people across the world who are making this world a better place)
‘Antar’ is a student led movement in Bangalore, India which came up during the National Lockdown that was imposed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic in India. The movement aimed at providing key relief material to people who needed it the most during the lockdown. I had written a while ago about the ‘two worlds’ which came up during the pandemic-
There are two worlds out there now, one which belongs to people like you and me, we have stocked up fridges with food, our bills are paid, we have Wifi at home and this lockdown is more of rest than anything else.
Sadly, there’s another world out there too- millions of people are jobless, as I type this out, hundreds will go to bed hungry, worse still many don’t have the luxury of a house to stay in, daily wage workers who haven’t eaten in days and people who have absolutely no clue what their life would be after this lockdown period. I’m not trying to make you guilty, I’m asking you to wake up, realize your privilege and try to bridge this wide gap, even if it’s just one meal you share.
This is exactly the spirit in which this movement was started, I got in touch with the organizers and asked them to tell me more about their movement, none of them wanted credit or fame, all they asked me to do was to spread their social media pages so that more people would donate! One of the organizers said “Antar is a youth run organization who aims to help people who have had a financial crunch due to the pandemic. We, at Antar stand by the BBMP Workers, also known as the Pourakarmikas in these unfortunate times. We are providing them with Ration Kits which contain Rice, Atta and Dal. So far we have helped over 330 Families in 7 Wards. We aim to reach as many workers in as many wards as possible”
He went on to say-“With over a 100 members from different schools and colleges, we have covered almost 400 families and 7 wards including Indiranagar and Jayamahal and others. We have worked through crowd funding till date and the support we have received from the local residents has been our motivating factor. As students we want to really make a difference because the situation around us is troublesome. These pourakarmikas work day and night to keep our city the way it is. For these frontline workers, we must step in when the machinery of the state falls short”
When I read about them, I was reminded of a powerful quote from Margret Mead – “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. The world today needs more empathy, more love, more care and most importantly it needs young people to stand up and take notice of what is happening around them. The volunteers of the movement come from various colleges across the city, they all have regular online classes, assignments and internships to balance but they still take the time out to make a difference, this is the core of human existence- care for each other. The students were quick to mobilize themselves and used social media to the maximum, they plan to hold several charity events in the weeks to come including online concerts, game nights and bake sales to boost their donations. I’m sharing the links to their social media pages below, kindly follow them and do donate a small sum if you can. Together we need to build bridges of love, compassion and care, only then are we going to get out of this mess. Together we are stronger.
Some pictures of their distribution drives-