Bhubaneswar: Sometimes charity begins by sharing awareness and knowledge about some recent ailment which has started to deform our nation and economy. ASSRA has been in action for the past several years and its volunteers sprung to ground sensing the vitality of the issue of corona pandemic. ASSRA (ASSOCIATION FOR SOCIAL SERVICE AND REHABILITATION OF THE AGED) was registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 in 2002 with the vision to bring the rural poor into the mainstream of development. The initiatives taken are related to the field of education, health and sanitation; we have also tried to bring gender-based equanimity in many villages of Odisha and Jharkhand by promoting self-dependency in women.
The need of support to government and its agencies in ensuring public health has been actively taken up by ASSRA considering the current corona outbreak. The pandemic in itself being a hazard, has created a ripple effect of troubles for people of different status in society. ASSRA has taken several steps till date to render support to people in need. Starting 20th of March, our volunteers started a cleanliness drive in Patamda block, Jameshdpur where people were given crucial information about the corona virus and precautions to be taken. In the last week of March, we came across a surge in the migrants along Ranchi Patna highway who had started moving on feet or whatever mode of transportation they could manage. As an immediate relief assistance, they were provided with dry food packs and water. In association with some other groups of friends, the volunteers from ASSRA helped provide prepared food to numerous migrants. At some places even night shelters were arranged. Gradually with the reduction in the number of travelling migrants, calls started dropping in for need of grocery and food items. To address these requirements, digital payment for grocery of needy people began. At some places like, Kasidih, Hazaribagh (Jharkhand), Kandelei in Odisha food items were delivered to local needy people after obtaining due permission. With some positive support, we managed to support some families in Jammu and Kashmir by distributing groceries among them through our active members. ASSRA through one of its projects “Hope is Life” mainly aims at spreading happiness in the family and communities in the Tribal dominated area like Raigada and Muniguda supported about 1500 families through groceries. Going further, ASSRA volunteers are also making indegenious sanitizers and masks to be distributed once this lockdown is over.
“As part of our action plan, we initiated a helpline number to reach as many people as we can. Over a span of 10 days, ASSRA has managed to cover almost 10 states including Jharkhand, Bihar, Delhi, Odisha, MP, UP, Haryana, Jammu, Kashmir, Chattisgarh and Tamil Nadu. One just needs to drop a missed call in order to reach us. Digital payments have made the process of help much easier as the payments do not have to pass through any channel. They directly reach those who are in need and hence widen our network of support. Apart from this we have also been indulged in raising funds for this cause through our payment gateway integrated to our website where people can donate straight to our NGO account; the donations being tax exempted under sections 12 A and 80 G. The satisfactory smiles on faces have guided our efforts all through this and we continue to strive for more,” said Subhajit Sahoo on of the founder member of ASSRA. He said ASSRA reached more than 1 lakh families in this lockdown period in these 13 states.