“Be kind” is common advice that our teachers and parents imparted us when we were small. Too colloquial in use, the word “kindness” never seemed to strike a chord except during highly adverse circumstances. Small and big acts of kindness have gained ubiquity as the world is grappling to come to terms with the coronavirus pandemic that has already claimed more than 30,000 lives and infected nearly 6,50,000 across all countries. The government-mandated “21 Day Lockdown” has forced businesses to close, thus, sending the economy in a slump. Among the hardest hit are labourers and the daily wage earners dependent on their everyday earnings for their survival. While timely intervention by both the Central and State Governments his trying to help the poor and have helped take care of adopted slums across the country, many families and non-government organisations have come forward to feed the security guards, labourers and daily wage earners in their cities. Many start-ups have partnered with charitable trusts to support their gig workers and independent contractors on their platforms to face the coronavirus crisis.
Kind Acts from behind the Scenes
Not all kind acts, especially by children, grab the attention of the public. And, yet there are acts of profound magnanimity that put to shame even the most cynical minds. Such charitable acts announced to help the poor, help the nation navigating an unprecedented crisis or serve the world unbiased of prejudice have been dubbed as “pro-social behaviours” by experts.
Continued contributions towards the “Assistance and Emergency Situation Relief Fund” announced by the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has underscored the true spirit with which the nation stands together to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. The fund created to allow people from all walks of life towards a healthier India has resulted in many individuals, trusts and organisations donating to help India prepare for a potential plague-like situation. As the government announced multiple payment mechanisms through which one can make donations, many people have quietly donated a day’s earnings to help the poor while the more enthusiastic have gladly parted with their monthly incomes.
Realising the Joy of Giving
As India quietly prepares itself for a possible Stage-3 epidemic, many industrialists and boardroom tycoons have come forward to help the government scale up its health infrastructure. State governments are gearing up to ramp their existing capacity for testing, treatment and isolation, given the sudden spike in coronavirus cases. Citing the grave situation that the country may have to face in the coming months, the Tata Trusts has pledged Rs. 500 crores towards timely deployment of urgent emergency resources. Anil Agarwal from Vedanta has pledged Rs. 100 crores while many MPs have promised their MPLAD funds.
Many companies in India have pitched in to make masks and sanitizers apart from contributing to various relief funds. For example, Diageo India has promised to manufacture in bulk at least 3,00,000 litres of hand sanitizers across its multiple manufacturing units to cope with the country’s growing demand apart from donating 1,50,000 masks to five state public departments. As states face the need to arrange for more medical facilities, the HN Reliance Foundation Hospital has offered to set up medical facilities to ease the quarantine process for travellers from other countries. Besides, the Reliance Foundation has offered initial support of Rs 5 crores to the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. As food rationing for the entire lockdown period is a matter of concern, the foundation has partnered with many NGOs to avail free meals to help the poor people across many cities.
Doctors and other health care professionals are at a greater risk of contracting the disease from their patients. To aid in their treatment, Reliance Industries has decided to ramp up its production capacities to produce 100,000 masks every day along with other protective gear for medical professionals, “essential” workers and pharmacists at various hospitals. PayTm Founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, has also pledged Rs. 5 crores towards the development of medical solutions to fight the potential epidemic.
Applauding the Socialist Mindset
Simple acts of kindness need not translate to fanfare and attention-grabbing headlines in newspapers and social media platforms. The idea is to share among those who need our urgent support, help the poor who are the most affected.
Joining the force with these respected agencies to help and assist in fighting the Coronavirus epidemic with empathy and executing the same efficiently, Smile Foundation is working towards providing dry food rations to people who have lost their livelihood due to the mandatory lock-down.
Smile Foundation is also undertaking the action to not leave behind its existing beneficiaries during this critical period and will provide teleconsultation to them to keep a track of their health. People will be connected with digitally by Smile on Wheels agents and a record of their health conditions will be maintained. They will also be referred to a doctor or medical institution in case of a medical emergency.
Coronavirus, is not just a fight with an invisible enemy but also the test of the humanity. A situation like this requires us all support each other, to come together to help the most helpless overcome the difficulties alongside ourselves. This disease is taking a toll on the mental state of every individual and that will have more significant on people than the physical complications that come with the disease.
However, it can be fought it we all do our part ; support and contribute towards helping the helpless. Together, we all can come over this situation as better and stronger individuals.
To help/support Smile Foundation in this cause you can visit: https://www.smilefoundationindia.org/smile-fights-covid19/