Yes, COVID-19 hit us. Yes, it hit us hard. Yes, it will take us time to fully recover.
But we also knew that no matter how much we may have been struggling, our struggles were nothing compared to those of others. Battles that needed more urgent attention.
One such group was migrant labourers in the country’s big cities. When the lockdown was enforced in March, they were the ones who were left stranded with no income, no home and, crucially, not even food to survive.
For any top Indian organisation, helping out in this moment of need was a responsibility. And shying away from ours was no option for us.
We went to the drawing board, came up with a plan for our Food Drive and launched it on the 15th of April. 5,000 meals were supplied every week across Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad and Indore. Thanks to a collaboration with the local police authorities, the meals were delivered from our kitchen to the makeshift homes of migrant and daily-wage labourers, in areas identified by the said authorities.
Of course, the meals were prepared in keeping with our strict hygiene standards. And though they were simple, they were wholesome and nutritious.
But labourers were not the only one in need of food. We also reached out to the brave people working on the frontline to provide meals for them. It was the least we could do.
Do we claim that it has solved all problems? Of course, we don’t. As Sandeep Dalmia, the Managing Director and Co-founder of Stanza Living, the food distribution drive was only a “small gesture” towards providing relief to the most vulnerable of our people.
We also implemented a flexible rates policy for people stranded in different cities ever since the lockdown was implemented. Some spaces were also provided to local authorities for quarantine purposes. And a contingency fund was created where Stanza Living employees and co-founders made contributions.
But it’s not something we believe we should pat ourselves on the back for. In times of crisis like this, it is the duty of those who have more access to resources (like us) to support those who are not as fortunate.
And all of us, even on an individual level, should make an honest effort to see how we can give up something little. It might not matter much to us, but it might mean the world for the person to whom it is finally delivered.
The fight is still going on. And it will continue to go on till the vaccine is invented, tested, and delivered to every single person.
Till then, it’s up to the likes of us to play our part in strengthening our ability to stick together in this fight. After all, we are #InItTogether.