As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic that led to a prolonged lockdown in India, the Hind Life and Education Trust (HLET) has announced an ambitious plan of food distribution, initially, one million food kits to be distributed at 25 destinations across the country. The project nicknamed as “Food for Everyone” has been launched as the ongoing lockdown has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people mainly migrant laborers, daily wage workers, rag pickers, underprivileged and senior citizens across India.
The distribution of food kits has already started at four places, namely Delhi, Patna, Siwan, and Nautan (a village in Siwan district). The number of sites for food distribution will be scaled up as and when the Trust generates resources and finds volunteers for food kits’ distribution. Food Kits are essentially ration kits that include rice, flour, pulses, oil, sugar, semolina, powder milk, and more. These kits are procured from long-standing vendors, with the value of each kit being Rs3500 sufficient for an average small family for a month.
The Trust is also open to tie-up with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which are currently working in different parts of India, especially in north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The Patna-based HLET, a non-profit, social change maker organization, is engaged in humanitarian, educational, and media works across India, mainly in the state of Bihar. It aims to reach the most vulnerable sections of society especially poor Muslims, Dalits, and untouchables as well as daily wage workers. While Indian Media is pre-occupied with campaigns against Muslims for the spread of COVID—19, it completely ignores the fact that several Muslim individuals and organizations are at the forefront of providing essentials to the needy during the lockdown.
The distribution of food kits is a priority project of the HLET at this point in time. The lockdown in India has stranded hundreds of thousands of poor workers, who have lost their jobs and are starving. On top of that, it is pertinent to realize that 34 out of 1,000 children born in India die in the mother’s womb itself. Nine lakh children below the age of five die much before they can comprehend the meaning of independent India and approximately 19 crore people in the country are compelled to sleep on an empty stomach.
This is the reason that the HLET has launched this “Food for Everyone” campaignwith the sole mission to reach out to a vast number of destitute individuals. The NGO aims to feed more than one million people in different phases, for which they are also planning to set up community kitchens in various parts of the country. Food is the most basic thing needed for survival, which is realized by the Trust.
To this end, it is important to note that India has had a very poor record of feeding its poor segment of society well before the pandemic arrived. India, in fact, has slipped to 102 positions in the Global Hunger Index 2019 of 117 countries, slipping from its 2018 position of 95 and behind its neighbors Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.Seventeen countries, including Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Cuba, and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI scores of less than five, the website of the Global Hunger Index that tracks hunger and malnutrition said in a report recently.
Based in Patna and founded in 2019, HLET is a government registered non-profit organization. Their team comprises outstanding youngsters and top community leaders working in the field of food aid, shelter, community welfare, emergency relief, Islamic services, aid and relief operations, education, media, and more.