Putting lives at risk, many migrant labourers decided to go back home, travelling hundreds of kilometres on foot before the Indian Railways started the ‘Shramik Trains’ to ferry them home. Better late than never, the Supreme Court also took cognisance of their plight, and asked governments to provide them shelter and food.
Moreover, a Delhi farmer bought air tickets for 10 migrant workers to help them return home, while individuals like Asif Kamal arranged buses for them. Parallelly, the education system found alternatives to cope with the coronavirus pandemic situation.
Here are the top social stories for the week:
As the battle against the spread of coronavirus wages on, an army of healthcare workers in rural India — the majority of whom are women — are in dire need of protective gear as they lead the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognising this need early on, Shivang Tayal and his family who run the Hisar, Haryana-based Tayal Foundation, collaborated with the Hisar Chapters of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and Indian Medical Association to launch an initiative to serve this very purpose.
The campaign — aptly named ‘Rakshak ki Raksha’ or ‘Protecting the Protector’ — sought to support and protect frontline COVID-19 healthcare workers in rural India, by providing them personal protective equipment kits or ‘Raksha’ kits.
Their dreams of returning home finally taking wing after two months of lockdown, 10 migrant workers are flying to Bihar, thanks to their employer – a Delhi farmer who bought their plane tickets.
Their flight to the state’s capital Patna was at 6 am on Thursday, and the men who planned to go home in April, can’t believe they are going to their villages in Samastipur — by not walking or cycling thousands of kilometres, or scrambling for a seat on a bus or train — but on a plane.
Founded in 1997, International Justice Mission (IJM) is a global organisation that collaborates with the State and Central Governments to protect the poor from violent forms of injustice, including bonded labour and sex trafficking in India by assisting the public justice system.
IJM’s social workers and contract advocates partner with the local District Administration, Police, and Public Prosecutors across states to ensure victim rescue, rehabilitation, capacity building, and prosecution of perpetrators.
Indrajeet Pawar, Director of Operations, and Prathima M., Associate Director of IJM Bengaluru, explain how the team has been working to bring justice to these victims.
Chairman of Dubai-based Alturaash Group Asif Kamal‘s lifelong ambition has been to empower the underprivileged people of India. He runs an art-house in Dubai, and an art gallery in New Delhi’s DLF Mall.
His enterprise – the Asif Kamal Foundation – has been helping supply essentials to the needy in rural areas, and arranging for buses to transport migrant workers back to their hometowns.
Asif Kamal talks further about the efforts of the foundation during the pandemic, and its ultimate goal of making healthcare and education accessible to everyone.
With the nation under a lockdown, parents, students, teachers, and school authorities had no option but to turn to online education. For almost two months now, education has been taken over by Zoom classes, government-provided online classes, and edtech startups.
From digital alternatives to doing away with examinations and tests, schools and colleges are making unprecedented decisions. Keeping the pandemic in mind, some opined that the academic year be changed from April–March to July–September.
In fact, graduates fresh out of college are also looking at a bleak future as employment prospects remain stagnant or nil. SocialStory spoke to some of the stakeholders in the sector to understand how education will be, post the COVID-19 pandemic.
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