[COVID Warrior] After providing over 1,200 jobs, this Agra-based marketer is distributing rations to blue-collar workers
Amid the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, B2B growth manager at Bijnis, Suyash Jain from Agra, along with his growth specialist colleague Rajat Agarwal, started the COVID-19 Free Jobs Forum to help the job seekers across India, who lost their jobs.
They started with a Google form where job seekers could sign up for job opportunities. At the same time, prospective employers could register on the forum. Within a month, the forum received registrations from more than 8,000 job seekers with about 400 active HRs from top companies actively using the database.
Suyash (in pink) giving a ration kit to a worker who lost his job during the pandemic
“We now have a strong community of 13,000+ job seekers and 600+ recruiters registered with us. We have helped out more than 1,200 job seekers in getting back to work and provided them with free courses to upgrade their skill sets,” Suyash tells SocialStory.
This slowed down during August and is now moving at a slower pace. Amid the second wave, he saw there was a need for more than just jobs and wanted to help people as much as possible.
“Blue collar workers, gig workers, migrant workers, and the destitute and slum dwellers who barely had any money to afford a square meal, were most impacted,” says Suyash, adding that he wanted to cater to these sections of the society.
Feeding the blue-collar workers
“While working from home, I saw my parents supporting a few blue-collar and daily wage workers by providing them with daily food items so that they won’t sleep hungry,” says Suyash.
Inspired, he decided to raise money to help more such families in need with basic ration supplies under the Feeding Ones In Need initiative. He started the project on May 15, 2021, and initially purchased the kits with his own income. But, when there was a shortage, he started a crowdfunding campaign on Milaap.
The first distribution drive
Each ration kit is costing Rs 600 (including transportation cost) which includes five kg of atta, one kg of rice, one kg of dal, one kg of sugar, one kg of salt, 200gm chilli powder, 200gm coriander, 100gm turmeric, 250gm tea powder and 1 packet of refined oil. Each kit caters to a family of four for at least 10-12 days.
“My parents also supported me in this mission in every possible manner. My father helped me out in sourcing all the necessary items for the ration kits,” he says.
On May 21, he conducted the first ration kit distribution drive in collaboration with local associations like Jain Social Group Agra that helped in identifying and bringing together blue-collar families at one single place. Additionally, every person was given a mask and sanitiser for their day to day use.
“During the first drive, we were able to give ration kits to 150 families in Agra. We catered to various sections of society including senior women who didn't have any earning source.,” he says.
“For all those to whom we were not able to give kits, we took their contact details and promised to soon provide them with ration kits,” he says.
Seeing a good contribution and support from various individuals, Suyash conducted another drive on May 31. “We put all the ration kits in cars and visited various areas in the city where we could distribute the kits to handicapped people, families living under city bridges, and rickshaw pullers,” he says.
Distributing food to the blue-collar workers
He also visited a few construction sites where he could provide ration kits to workers working there. “In one day, we were able to serve ration kits to around 200 more families,” says Suyash.
The #HelpUPBreathe Team also supported this mission by providing 50 ration kits for the second round. In addition, Sandipan Mitra developed brandsome.io, a free merchant identification tool for fintech startups where he put up the Milaap fundraising link if anybody wants to donate.
Suyash is also a part of Covid War Room, an initiative by IIIT Hyderabad alumni, which has helped out more than 1,000 people to date. They contributed Rs 1 lakh to the Feeding Ones In Need mission.
“Over 400 ration kits have been distributed so far. Seeing the happiness on the faces of these families motivates me to continue this mission to serve more families at least until this pandemic is over,” says Suyash
Going forward, he plans to support at least 1,000 families more.