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From waste pickers to artisans, the covid-19 pandemic has far reaching consequences for vulnerable communities and those who work in the informal sector. With livelihoods threatened, access to food, shelter and medical supplies has become a challenge. The Lounge team continues to call out charities and not-for-profit organisations helping people in these precarious times.

Chitrika

The pandemic and the ensuing lockdown have proved particularly challenging for primary producers—with milk prices having been slashed, weavers’ orders cancelled, and plummeting poultry sales. Chitrika Foundation, under the Access Livelihoods Group, works with 17,389 farmers, artisans, and tribal communities in remote areas of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Odisha. It is now working towards creating and providing essentials kits that can support these producers and their families for a month. Donors can choose to support one or more families through this fundraiser.

Hasiru Dala

This non-profit, which works for the unorganised waste-picking sector in Karnataka, has identified 3,500 waste picker families with no access to employment in six cities and towns across Karnataka, such as Bengaluru, Mysuru, Tumakuru, Davanagere, and Hubli-Dharwad. The team is raising funds for care kits, comprising dry rations and soaps, for 21 days, with each kit costing between Rs1600 and Rs1900. You can donate here.

Theatre for a Cause

New Delhi-based non-profit organisation Theatre for a Cause (TFAC) has started an initiative called ‘Sing For A Cause’ to gather support for homeless people through public engagement on Facebook. The initiative invites users to submit 30-second video entries with their rendition of any song by the legendary Swedish pop group ABBA. For every song and entry, TFAC donates Rs100 to the Blind Relief Association and Uday Foundation. ‘Sing For A Cause’ has already seen 230 song submissions from across the world, including countries such as Puerto Rico, Panama, Kenya, Sweden, Thailand, USA. As a result, more than 4,600 people in Delhi have been gifted meals through Uday foundation and Blind Relief Association. You can donate here.

Feed My Bangalore

KVN Foundation, formed by three Bengaluru-based entrepreneurs, has launched a ‘Feed My City Campaign’ across five Indian cities to feed families of daily wage earners. The foundation, which maintains a daily dashboard of meals served on its Twitter feed, has crossed the initial target of serving 3 lakh meals. You can donate here.

Helping Hands Charitable Trust

This Mumbai-based NGO, in collaboration with Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, is working towards feeding migrant labour and those stuck in relief camps. The kits they distribute includes rice, atta, dal, oil, sugar, tea, soap and salt. It also provides safety kits to doctors in city hospitals, which includes N95 mask, face shields and other protection gear. Over the last few weeks, the NGO has reached out to thousands in Mumbai and Thane. You can donate here.

A fundraiser by CORO

This Mumbai-based not-for-profit has started a fundraiser for daily wage earners, domestic sanitation workers and taxi drivers living in the city’s slums. It has extended the initiative to farmers and labourers in Maharashtra’s villages as well. The effort started as a partnership with the multi-designer lifestyle label, LeMill, and the health, gender and culture magazine, The Swaddle, with a donation drive #1crorein21days in late March. While the campaign ended after 21 days, the fundraiser continues to provide food, medical and relief work for those most in need. You can donate here.

Dastkar’s Artisan Support Fund

Since 1981, this not-for-profit is supporting traditional Indian craftspeople, who often get overlooked as significant contributors to the arts and design fields. With the nationwide lockdown depriving artisans and their families from an income, Dasktar has reopened its support fund, which was first created during the 2001 Kutch earthquake. The financial support will address the craftspersons’ immediate medical and survival needs. It will help them procure wages and raw materials for their enterprises, and also provide linkages with potential markets and buyers by subsidising their travel and expenses to bazaars in the future. You can donate here.

Lex Do It Trust

This Delhi NCR-based not-for-profit social and educational enterprise is helmed by law professionals. While their mission is to empower citizens with basic legal information, during the lockdown they started a fundraiser on Ketto for personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and healthcare staff across India. Nishant Gambhir, co-founder of LEX, says, “Although the government has pledged to provide PPE kits to healthcare professionals, it will take time and that’s where we are pitching in. These professionals are most at risk right now and they urgently need these kits." Apart from protective gear, they are also raising funds to build disinfectant tunnels for a hospital in Delhi that has been declared as servicing covid-19 patients only. You can donate here.

Aajeevika Bureau

This non-profit organization works to enhance the dignity and well-being of migrant worker communities in the informal economy, primarily in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It was one of the first to respond when the nationwide lockdown was announced, and has been collecting funds not only to support migrant daily-wage earners during this period but to help them rebuild their lives in the long term as well. You can donate here.

CUPA

Stray animals who depend on people for food are having a difficult time during the lockdown. Animal welfare organisations across the country have stepped up efforts to address this crisis. Bangalore-based CUPA is one such non-profit. These past weeks, it is feeding close to 500 stray dogs every day. A Facebook post said that the food being distributed is the same quality as that given to their shelter dogs (“Delicious Chicken & Rice for our 4-legged friends"). Their emergency services are also continuing, even though they’re working with a skeletal staff. You can donate to their ‘Sponsor A Meal’ campaign on their website, which goes to feeding dogs in different areas of Bangalore.

Asmita Bakshi, Shrabonti Bagchi, Nitin Shreedhar, Omkar Khandekar, Shubham Ladha, Jahnabee Borah, Uday Bhatia and Avantika Bhuyan contributed to this story.

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