Educational hubs pitch in with food
Educational institutions and alumni associations in the steel city have come forward to help needy rural and urban families with food in bulk amid the nationwide lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.
From the start of this month, premier B-school XLRI has donated around 3,000 food packets, including rice, pulses, soy nuggets, cooking oil, salt and sugar, and in some cases wheat flour and soap, to families in rural and urban areas to poor families. Of the 3,000 packets, the Loyola Alumni Association has donated 1,200.
With skeletal staff on campus now, the B-school has managed to collect around Rs 12 lakh to help the needy during the pandemic. However, XLRI partnered with nonprofit organisations who have experience on the field for the distribution of food.
NGO Kalamandir and the Jamshedpur Jesuit Society have been distributing food in rural areas while Adarsh Seva Sansthan and People for Change are helping urban slums and transgenders receive food.
“We were told by the administration that there is need in rural areas too. People associated with us, including the faculty, alumni association and individuals have generously donated for the cause. However, we kept ourselves away from distribution as it is better done by organisations who work on the field,” said senior faculty member of XLRI, Madhukar Shukla.
Besides giving food packets to XLRI, the Loyola Alumni Association on its own has concentrated on children’s nutrition. The outfit has so far donated 3,760 half-litre packets of milk since the start of the month.
The distribution was being done twice a week but now on the request of the East Singhbhum DC Ravi Shankar Shukla it will be done thrice a week.
The Loyola Alumni Association has collected more than Rs 5 lakh from its members. Teachers of Loyola School have also agreed to donate a day’s salary for at least two months to support the cause.
“Nutrition is a key need for children between six months and three years, as the district administration said,” said Loyola Alumni Association vice-president Rajiv Talwar.
Last week, officials of private schools in Jamshedpur handed over a consignment of 7,200 packets of 500gm of a branded malt health drink to East Singhbhum district administration for poor pregnant and lactating women. About 16 schools in Jamshedpur had collected Rs 14.5 lakh for it and handed the consignment to the government officials at the Red Cross Bhavan.