Guwahati: People from across the country are coming forward to help others during the 21-day lockdown amid the coronavirus aka COVID-19 pandemic.
Two such people — brothers Prince Khalid and Arif Ahmed from Small Wish International (SWI) — have been taking to the streets of Guwahati in Assam from 6 am to 8 pm every day to provide help to the underprivileged and all those who need help during these critical times.
“We witnessed that many activists or volunteers are helping people without following preventive measure themselves. It is heart-breaking as well as terrifying,” said Ahmed, the CEO of SWI.
“Providing packets of food without wearing a mask or glove is dangerous. What is the point of helping others if are potentially spreading the disease ourselves?” asked Ahmed.
This, felt Ahmed, was a clear example of how people themselves were not aware of the do’s and don’t’s while doing voluntary work and trying to help people during crisis.
Hence, following the emergency measures verified and supported by WHO is something SWI strongly believes in and is trying to propagate.
People belonging to below poverty line (BPL) and daily wage labourers have been the worst affected due to the lockdown. Many have run out of cash and therefore unable to buy supplies. “As an immediate measure, we have provided more than 1,100 food packages in the slums of Guwahati and the effort shall continue throughout the lockdown,” said Sheikh Prince Khalid, chief operating officer of SWI.
What the brothers are trying to make people aware of while distributing food is that this is a medical emergency first and food emergency later. “Just distributing food kits is not enough as we also need to sensitise people about the preventive measures that need to be taken to combat this pandemic,” said Ahmed.
The brother duo has also been drawing circles to ensure the minimum 1-metre distance in front of grocery and medicine shops and ATMs as a preventive measure for the safety of the people.
The brothers have been visiting the slums of the city and trying to make the people aware about the importance of sanitation and hygiene particularly during times like these.
“Children have almost no fighting chance if the deadly virus spreads, hence we have also taken special care to make the mothers aware of the importance of hygiene,” said Ahmed.
There are around 217 slums in Guwahati, as per some estimate.