Pandemic Heroes: This 12-year-old Hyderabad girl has supplied over 2,000 ration kits to the needy

Twelve-year-old Ridhi has pioneered Project Care-ona to distribute ration to the needy and has managed to raise Rs 11.3 lakh so far.
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The coronavirus pandemic has affected every segment of society in some way or the other. While there are many individuals and organisations coming forward to help the needy, here is an initiative spearheaded by a sixth grader from Hyderabad. 

After witnessing the plight of the underprivileged people around her, 12-year-old Ridhi, a student of International School of Hyderabad, decided to raise money to help them with basic supplies under Project Care-ona. 

Project Care-ona

Project Care-ona was started when the nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24. Its first on-ground distribution was conducted on April 02. This project is led by none other than young Ridhi.

Initially, Ridhi donated from her pocket money to the project. But to sustain it, she used the platform Milaap to raise funds. Project Care-ona is an online crowdfunding initiative. It has raised Rs 11.3 lakh so far.

Ridhi



Talking about her inspiration, Ridhi says,

“In my school, we have a service learning initiative. We are pushed into thinking about how we can help people.”

Ridhi says she first came across the plight of the downtrodden hit by the coronavirus pandemic after watching news coverage. She was moved by the plight of tens of thousands of people being affected by the nationwide lockdown. 

Food kits

Each food kit donated by Project Care-ona costs Rs 650 and includes five kg of rice, one kg lentils, one kg salt, 200 gm chilli powder, one litre of cooking oil, and two soap bars. Each kit caters to a family of four for at least a week

The first phase of distribution on April 2 saw the donation of 200 supply kits in the Nandigadda Thanda area of Hyderabad. On April 13, 505 kits were distributed in Chandanaik Thanda. Soon, 526 kits were distributed on April 22 in Saidabad, Mahendra Hills, and among sanitation workers in Gachibowli. All these areas come under Hyderabad.

On May 8, 500 more kits were distributed and 150 kits were donated on May 11 in the Gowdavally region of the city. 

Ridhi also found support from the Cyberabad police, who helped her in identifying places where these kits were much needed, and also aided in their distribution. 

“About 400 kits are yet to be distributed. We have identified places near Moinabad in the city. Distribution will happen this week,” says Ridhi. 

Distribution of food kits carried out by the Cyberabad Police



Support 

One charity organisation supporting Project Care-ona is TEA Cares Foundation, based in Hyderabad. It’s a charitable initiative that supports five other NGOs. TEA Cares Foundation aims to identify and publicise the work of non-profit initiatives and organisations in India.  

TEA Cares Foundation volunteers provide help in the form of packing and distribution of ration kits. The team at Project Care-ona is also working in tandem with other charity organisations such as Ekalavya Foundation and Sphoorti Foundation to carry out distribution work. 

Identifying areas that need to be catered to



The project has made a significant impact and has managed to draw the attention of many media organisations across the country. Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu, also took to Twitter to applaud the young girl for her proactive role in helping the needy. 

On a personal front, Ridhi’s hobbies range from gymnastics, baking, singing, dancing, acting, and other performing arts. She is an outspoken girl with a conscience and willpower that drives her to manifest her ideas. 

“It is my mother who has pushed me into being the person I am today,” she tells SocialStory.
Edited by Javed Gaihlot

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