In a laudable initiative to help the under-privileged during the Covid-19 lockdown, around 55 students of Canadian International School (CIS) raised funds of over Rs 12 lakh and tied up with NGO Habitat for Humanity to distribute hygiene and family essential kits to over 1,000 families in 54 districts covering 19 states across India. In Karnataka, the kits were distributed to poor families in the North Bangalore region. The funds were raised through crowd-funding platform Ketto by the CIS students who also raised awareness on the donation through their social media accounts and WhatsApp group chats.
The hygiene and family essential kits which included liquid hand wash, floor disinfectant soaps, sanitary napkins, utensil bar soap, handkerchief along with protective masks and hand sanitizers, were provided to the most vulnerable communities like daily wagers, domestic help, auto drivers, watchmen, pushcart vendors, garment workers and families with no alternative means to provide for themselves and take care of their hygiene and nutrition. In Bangalore, the distribution undertaken by CIS and Habitat for Humanity covered many areas like Tippu Nagar, Tirumenahalli, Nagenahalli, Gubbi cross, Modi Garden and Thanisandra, Peenya and Kachakaranhalli, Kothanur and, Byrathi Bande.
The school linked up with Habitat for Humanity owing to its vast experience in disaster risk reduction and response and its ability to identify the poorest families to whom the kits were distributed. The NGO is now campaigning on this issue in the wake of Covid-19.
Commenting on the initiative, Canadian International School student Nidhi said: “On behalf of CIS students, we would like to thank the donors for contributing towards our goal of helping the poor and needy. We realized that because of the Covid-19 pandemic the most vulnerable groups would suffer heavily. We then came up with the idea of raising funds in order to distribute essential kits to them. We approached Habitat for Humanity for help given their vast experience in identifying and helping the poor.”
“I immediately took this opportunity to gain both experience and knowledge, and along the way, I discovered the joys of raising funds and helping people. I truly believe this fundraiser was an extraordinary experience given the circumstances surrounding it. The fundraiser spanned a couple of months, and over those months I discovered that people had good in them, and that showed brilliantly when we reached out. I asked friends and family, distant and local, and the responses I got were truly a surreal experience. I managed to raise over 20000 rupees in total. A few months later, we came to know that the hygiene kits had been effectively distributed, and it was a huge success. This made the experience all the more worth it, in the end, knowing I had contributed in some way to help people in need, no matter how distant they may have been,” said Sayhan, CIS student.
Ms Shweta Sastri, Managing Director, Canadian International School said: “This initiative by our students and the gesture by Habitat for Humanity is highly appreciable. We need to retain this sensitivity whenever we come across such a crisis. At CIS, we always encourage students to take up social work and we are proud of our students and would like to see more such initiatives in the days ahead.”