The covid-19 pandemic has impacted millions of lives in the cities and villages of India. The agency areas around the Visakhapatnam district were some of the most affected ones. Vizag Volunteers launched a project to provide essentials to the tribals of Araku.
It was more than a month of serving the people in the city when the team of Vizag Volunteers felt that when people living in cities were having tough times getting groceries, milk, and other daily essentials, how would villagers get their essentials. The tribals purchase groceries once every 15 days, and due to Lockdown, they might have faced more problems. So Vizag Volunteers planned to help the tribal villages in the outskirts of Visakhapatnam.
The first step was to identify the villages that needed more help and were very poor with fewer cultivation chances. Mr Krishna garu, who works in these tribal villages, contacted Mrs Gnaneswari and Mr Ravi to inform them about the locations near paderu. The team started to plan the list of things that they needed to give them.
Rice was procured from the Food Corporation of India, Visakhapatnam and packed into bags of 10 kgs each. Other items were potatoes, onions, pickle bottle, bath soap, Detergent soap, salt packet, chilly packet and cooking oil. We completed the packing of 100 grocery kits for 100 families in two days. Permissions to enter into Paderu tribal villages were taken from Vizag DSP due to the lockdown protocol. Once we got the approval, our team of volunteers, Mr Satish. K, Mrs Gnaneswari, Mr Animesh and Mr Ramji started their journey on a rented car, 30th April 2020 at 5 am to Paderu. As our rented truck carried the items, it was not an easy drive through rough roads on a hilly area, and we had to shift the items into a local van. We had to walk 2 kms from where we parked our vehicles as no roads were leading to the villages.
The grocery distribution for Araku was a crowd-funded project done via the Vizag volunteers whatsapp groups. We prepared a list of items to be added to the kit after thinking over multiple options. The equipment had a mixture of dry ration and grocery items. The team started at 4 in the morning and reached Araku at 7 AM. The villages had no access to 4 wheelers, and the team had to walk a distance of 3 KM on the hilly terrain. The kits were carried by the villagers back to their homes. The team understood the pain points of tribals in the pandemic and took down notes to better plan projects in the future.
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