From providing free education to free healthcare, here are the top social stories of the week

This week, Social Story saw the efforts of people who are reaching out to vulnerable sections of the society and helping them fight against the effects of COVID-19, including collateral damage.

27th Jun 2020
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COVID-19 pandemic has been putting many lives at risk, especially of healthcare workers and underprivileged sections of the society. Many NGOs and voluntary services have sprouted up during the lockdown to help the vulnerable cope with the pandemic.


This week, Social Story saw the efforts of people who are reaching out to the marginalised sections of the society, besides other stories of achievement.


Here are the top Social Stories of the week

This Padma Shri winner is providing free education to an underprivileged community in Bihar

Jyoti Kumar Sinha, 74, was determined to uplift one of the most underprivileged and marginalised sections of the society. Hailing from Bihar, the Musahars are a tribal-turned-Dalit community, traditionally associated with the occupation of catching rats. Even after repeated claims by the administration of development and change, their condition has remained the same. 


JK Sinha

Jyoti Kumar Sinha with his students.

According to the 2011 Census, an estimated 27 lakh Musahars reside in India. However, only three percent of them are educated. JK Sinha wanted to transform this. In 2005, he laid the foundation for Shoshit Seva Sangh (SSS), a non-profit organisation, with an aim to provide quality education for free to the Musahar children. 


Today, he is successfully running a CBSE-affiliated residential school for more than 500 boys and girls on Shivalaya Road in Patna. This, in turn, is infusing a sense of confidence among the students and is equipping them with all the tools needed for a better livelihood.


Coronavirus: This citizen-led initiative in Mumbai has served over 37 lakh meals to migrant workers

The coronavirus pandemic has made us realise that food is not a luxury for those who live hand-to-mouth. Millions of migrant workers and daily wagers were left stranded in cities, unemployed, and without food when the nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25.


KhaanaChahiye

Distribution of food in Mumbai.

To feed them, KhaanaChahiye.com was started as a social initiative by Litmus Test Project and Project Mumbai. Being a citizen-led initiative, the team developed a ‘hunger map’ and linked it to restaurant kitchens in Mumbai.

Having initiated the drive with 1,200 meals on the first day on March 29, the team went on to distribute more than 70,000 meals a day during peak times. So far, they have distributed more than 37 lakh meals to the underprivileged.

Meet the man who sold his SUV to distribute oxygen cylinders to COVID-19 patients for free

Shahnawaz Shaikh’s love for cars went beyond adrenaline and horsepower. When he bought a brand new Ford Endeavour back in 2011, he spent additional money to get a special number plate – 007, as well as a customised music system.


Shahnawaz Shaikh

Shahnawaz Shaikh, a resident of Malad in Mumbai.

When the coronavirus pandemic started spreading in India, Shahnawaz began using his vehicle as a makeshift ambulance. On May 28, his business partner’s six-month pregnant sister passed away due to coronavirus in an autorickshaw just when she was about to reach a hospital.

When the Malad resident got to know that the woman could have been saved had she received oxygen on time, Shahnawaz sold his car to buy oxygen cylinders for those in need. He did not want more lives to be lost because of this reason.


This free teleconsultation app aims to make COVID-19 healthcare accessible to all

On March 25, 2020, India made relaxations to the Telemedicine Practice Guidelines and made it legal for medical practitioners to provide teleconsultation, with certain restrictions. Taking advantage of this, experts from the healthcare and healthtech organisations have volunteered to create an app for free teleconsultation in these difficult times.

Swasth App


Swasth is a not-for-profit, voluntary consortium with 100+ members representing stakeholders in the healthcare sectors who have come together to work in coordination with the government and the medical council to provide quality healthcare to the masses.

Other Stories

Tea seller’s daughter from Madhya Pradesh tops IAF Academy

Suresh Gangwal watched his 23-year-old daughter, Aanchal Gangwal on television for the first time, with teary eyes filled with pride. She was being awarded the President’s Plaque at the combined graduation ceremony, which was held at the Indian Air Force (IAF) Academy in Hyderabad. Aanchal topped the academy.


Aanchal Gangwal

Image: SheThePeople

Her father Suresh was a tea seller in Neemuch distict for as long as she remembers, and he worked hard to ensure that his two daughters and son did not face any difficulties while growing up.

Aanchal believed that she was a fighter and always wanted to be a part of defence forces. She had joined the Madhya Pradesh police department as a sub-inspector. Later, she quit, after working as a labour Inspector.

(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)

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