Many organisations from the community and other bodies headed by individuals from the community continued to organise distribution of food and rations to the underprivileged and other needy sections of society during the second and third phases of the ongoing lockdown in the country.
Gem & Jewellery National Relief Foundation
One of the most widespread campaigns is being coordinated by the Gem & Jewellery National Relief Foundation (GJNRF) which has Sanjay A. Kothari as Chairman and Ashok Gajera as MD as well as many other stalwarts from the community including Dr Vikram Mehta, Ketan Parikh, Ramnikbhai Shah and others on its Board.
Under the banner of the GJNRF, the following coordinated campaigns have been carried out with kits of essential items being distributed to about 15,000 workers from the gem and jewellery industry and many thousands more from among those working in other industries too:
In coordination with The Banaskantha Diamond Factory Owners Association families of over 5,000 workers from the currently shut diamond manufacturing units in the district were given kits containing household essentials.
The distribution took place at Dhundiawadi in the presence of Hon’ble MP of Banaskantha Shri Parbatbhai Patel and the Hon’ble District Collector of Banaskantha Shri Sandip Sangle along with leading members of the association such as Harshadbhai Mehta, Rajendrakumar Somani, Dr Jayeshbhai Bavishi, Dilipbhai Shah, Shaileshbhai Mehta and Amrutlal Patel.
The donors included Parikh Foundation; Mahendra Brothers; GJNRF; Shri Palanpur Jain Swetambar Murtipujak Sangh, Mumbai and Shri Pallaviaji Sarvamangal Trust, Mumbai.
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Ration kits were also distributed to over 4,000 families of ratna kalakars residing in Visnagar in Mehsana district of Gujarat.
Plans are also being finalised to aid another few thousand families of karigars from the gem and jewellery industry residing in Navsari and Botad. The distribution of kits is expected to take place in the coming week.
Over 25,000 migrant workers from different parts of the country were stuck in various parts of Raigad district of Maharashtra near Mumbai. GJNRF in association with the local authorities and coordinated by Mehul N. Shah, Vice President, Bharat Diamond Bourse organised supplies to reach different parts of the district where the workers were staying.
Over a short period in the latter part of April, almost 20 tons of foodgrains, over 5,000 face masks and over 100 litres of sanitiser were distributed in places such as Panvel, Mangaon, Uran, Alibaug, Thal, Poladpur, Pen and Pali.
The campaign was supported by leading diamantaires from the community including Anoop Mehta of Mohit, the Rosy Blue group and others.
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
A number of different campaigns have been organised in Mumbai. A major relief camp for distribution of foodgrain and other essentials was organised in coordination with the Bengali Karigar Association in Zaveri Bazaar.
In a campaign during which 400-500 kits were distributed for nearly 10-15 days, almost 5,000 needy families were helped with distribution of food kits.
Similarly, GJNRF in association with BDB distributed over 11 tonnes of rice and dal in coordination with the Roti Bank, and NGO led by former Mumbai Police Commissioner, D Sivanandan.
GJNRF also supported the Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care, an initiative of the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur in its campaign and together they have distributed nearly 12,000 face masks, sanitisers and other safety equipment to the staff police stations in many parts of Mumbai and 200 PPE kits and 3,000 masks have also been distributed to the staff at hospitals in the city. The organisations also distributed 1,300 ration kits and medical essentials. Sunit Kothari is among those who played an important role in coordinating this activity.
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Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust, Mumbai
Ratna Nidhi is responding to the COVID-19 crisis by providing Daily over 8,300 hot nutritious khichdi meals to the daily wage workers in Mumbai city. These are the groups who are worst affected by the pandemic.
Since the launch of the project on March 29 till May 5, 2020, Ratna Nidhi has served over 2.52,000 meals to the target group in Mumbai.
Meals have been distributed in areas across Borivali, Malad, Kurla, Bandra, Bhiwandi, Dharavi, Parel, Mazgaon, Matunga, Bandra, Mankhurd, Andheri, Vile Parle, Chembur, Ghatkopar, Dhobi Talao, Colaba & Fountain & daily wage earners near BKC through Bharat Diamond Bourse.
The organisation has partnered with DP’s restaurant who for this initiative have provided three kitchens at Dadar, and one each at Matunga, Chembur, Malad and Ghatkopar. Ratna Nidhi is providing all the food grains and cooking & packing material for the project and ensuring delivery.
Shree Banaskantha Palanpur Jain Association, Chennai
The SBPJA has initiated and sponsored the preparation and distribution of over 1,000 cooked food packets each day to homeless, daily wage labourers, and migrant populations from three locations: Ambattur, Redhills Moolakadai and Pattalam. A total of 35,000 such packets were distributed till early May.
Further, essential household kits to 150 Jain families who face earning disruptions in Madhawaram and Kesarwadi and essential household kits were provided to 100 families in Redhills.
NOTE: The reports are based on currently available information. We request other individuals and organisations involved in relief activity to share details with firstname.lastname@example.org
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