25 October, 2020

A Few Friends In Deed

A first-person account of how Gujarat can awaken the samaritans amongst ordinary people

A Few Friends In Deed
What can an individual do? Nothing, I thought, and let the statistics—thousands of men, women and children dead, towns turned to rubble, crores damaged—smother my sensitivity. Until Vikrant happened. This 26-year-old came home and announced: "I'm going. Do you want to do something?" Sure I wanted to, but what? The answer came in torrents, through actions I couldn't control, in ways I never thought were possible. We dialled the numbers and in less than two hours my house turned into a control room for relief as six of us sat down to take stock.

Bharat, who had travelled through Gujarat extensively, was familiar with the topography of the region; Madhavan and Aloka brought their experiences of working with ngos; Monika, our in-house geek, activated the cyber-mailing lists. All of us pivoted around the most precious commodity—Vikrant's enthusiasm. We decided to take help to rural areas where aid hadn't reached till then. But an executing organisation was necessary. We short-listed Jan Vikas, an organisation that had been active in rural India for 13 years. A few calls to...


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