The Unstoppables

Stories of Hope from India’s COVID-19 Lockdown.

At a time when the world is facing an unfamiliar and fatal virus, what can actually work to keep us afloat? It’s a belief that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

With that belief, young leaders across India are reaching out to their neighbours and lending a helping hand. They are unstoppable because of their courage and resilience.

Meet Ashwitha, a Magic Bus Youth Mentor from Mysore.

She lives in Ramabainagar, a neighbourhood in south Mysore. Her community is made up mostly of migrant workers, who travel three days a week to construction sites. Following the COVID-19 lockdown, almost all of them lost their jobs. None of them the right documents that would allow them to access government benefits during the lockdown.

“The Gram Panchayat members (A group of local leaders)  in my area have known Magic Bus for several years now. They also know me for my work with children in the neighbourhood. I have been a Youth Mentor in Magic Bus for the last eight years,” Ashwitha says.

The Gram Panchayat members wanted Ashwitha’s support to prepare and distribute cooked meals to people who were starving because they had no money to buy food. Ashwitha took charge of the entire initiative from the first day, mobilising support from the young people, and volunteering to cook the food herself.

“I was very scared at first. I have a child at home. My husband has lost his job too. I didn’t want to get infected and pass it on to my family. We are all holed up together in a single room through the day,” she says, adding, “I also knew if I didn’t take the initiative people in my locality would starve, children would go without food. So, I took it up. I ensure I have a mask and gloves and sanitisers on me. I leave home early in the morning and when I come back, I head straight to the bathroom to wash my hands and clothes,” she explains. 

Today is the 10th day of food distribution in Ramabainagar. “We feed 600-800 people in a day. Members of the Gram Panchayat fund procurement of ration. We plan to do this for another 10 days,” she says with a smile.

Ashwitha helping to distribute food and supplies to families in her community.

Volunteers like Ashwitha need your help if they’re going to continue their courageous work saving lives within their communities. Donate to our COV:AID Campaign today and save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children, young people, and families.

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